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Reach out to help out

Our campaign on World Mental Health Day aimed to normalise depression

India is in the throes of a mental health crisis. According to the World Health Organisation, one out of every five Indians is depressed.

In a country of 1.3 billion people, that is a staggering and worrying number. But the subject remains taboo and up to 79% of Indians struggling with depression do not seek help out of shame, fear of ridicule, or because they do not even know that there are resources available for them.

At Star, we have always acknowledged the immense power and responsibility that media holds as a driver of social change. We need to normalise conversations around mental health and depression and bring them out of the shadows, and we decided to do exactly that on World Mental Health Day this year through our #ReachOut campaign.

This series of five films was conceptualised as a set of text conversations with loved ones to highlight that many people who are depressed are unable to share their struggle even with those who are the closest to them, whether it is a parent, a spouse, or a dear friend.

From postpartum depression to anxiety, these films cover a range of mental health issues and how debilitating they can be. But we knew that the first step in having an open and honest dialogue about mental health is to remove the stigma around them. The common thread that ties these films together is the inability of those who are struggling to tell how they actually feel—exhausted, incapable of eating, scared, sad—to those they love. Instead, they pretend that everything is fine, putting on a brave face for those they love.


We came up with the central theme of #ReachOut to encourage viewers to check in regularly with their loved ones about their state of mind, to not be content with surface level conversations, and to dig deeper to see how they’re really doing. When it comes to mental health, creating a safe space for honest communication is key, and this campaign was designed to do exactly that.

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