Mumbai: To spread awareness about mental health and destigmatize conversations around mental health, over 300 employees of Mpower, an initiative of Aditya Birla Education Trust, a mental health social enterprise, and the Aditya Birla Group hit the tracks on Sunday.
The 300-strong squad led by Dr Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Aditya Birla Education Trust comprised counsellors, psychiatrists, mental health experts and employees from Mpower and all divisions of Aditya Birla Education Trust along with employees and top leaders from the Aditya Birla Group participated in the Open 10K and the 5.9 km Dream Run.
The funds raised through the marathon will be used to help people who do not have easy access to mental health support and will also provide on-ground mental health interventions to the economically weaker sections of society through projects that Mpower runs under Samvedna and Oorja.
Dr Neerja Birla, Mental Health Champion & Founder and Chairperson of Mpower said, “I am encouraged to see that mental well-being is slowly but surely becoming part of the mainstream conversation at personal, societal and media levels. We chose this cause at a marathon to create awareness that in addition to physical fitness, one’s mental health also has a huge impact on one’s productivity, relationships, social engagement and personal achievements.”
As per the WHO, one in eight people suffers from some form of mental health condition. 14 per cent of India’s population lives with mental health challenges (Lancet, 2019). As per the NHMS 2016 survey, the treatment gap in India for mental health disorders is between 72 per cent to 92 per cent. Mental health has been among the leading causes of health burden worldwide since the 1990s and the incidence of mental health illnesses has increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent WHO report, in India over 80% of people do not seek psychiatric help as they face shame, workplace disadvantage, prejudice and embarrassment from society.
Mpower provides support and counselling to individuals and their families from all walks of life by creating awareness, fostering education and alleviating stigma vis-à-vis mental health. The organisation runs a 24x7, Toll-free helpline in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
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