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Just attempting to get by in our fast-paced world has become challenging. Most individuals spend their lives trying to compete in the modern world and be the best of the best, forgetting to laugh while trying to make it. We are taught how to stand out among the finest from a young age, which occasionally causes people to forget how to enjoy life, resulting in tension, anxiety, and despair.
Actress Deepika Padukone, who battled depression during the height of her career, founded the charitable trust LiveLoveLaugh, commonly known as LLL, to offer hope to everyone experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression.
IANSlife got in touch with Anisha Padukone, Deepika's sister, and the trust's CEO for a tell-all on LLL.
Tell us about LLL
AP: LiveLoveLaugh (LLL) was started in 2015 after our founder Deepika Padukone was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She wanted to utilise her position to create a positive impact on society. LiveLoveLaugh aims to give hope to every person experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression. We combine knowledge and domain expertise to create awareness about mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
What are the initiatives undertaken by the foundation to support the mental health of women?
AP: The trust has a range of initiatives aimed at supporting the mental health of women, including:
YANA (You Are Not Alone), is our flagship school program that educates adolescent girls between 6th - 12th standard on awareness of mental health and building resilience.
The rural program provides free psychiatric treatment, support for caregivers such as mothers or sisters, vocational training, and access to government-aided schemes like pension disability.
Our website offers fifteen helpline numbers where anyone can get free mental health support in various languages. In addition, we have a repository of verified mental health professionals across the country.
This month, our digital engagement focuses specifically on better access and support to mental health resources for women.
What do you do for your own mental well-being?
AP: I follow a fairly strict self-care routine and try not to deviate from it.
I try to get at least eight hours of restful sleep every night, and some form of physical exercise
I also focus on maintaining a good work-life balance, and consciously practice gratitude on a regular basis
I distance myself from my phone for a few hours every day since we all have a tendency to be busy with it all the time
How has your journey been as a leader in the mental health space?
AP: Being a part of LLL has been one of the most fulfilling and enriching experiences of my life. I've not only grown professionally but also personally, as I've been able to apply what I've learned to my own life. I feel fortunate to be able to contribute to the organisation and its cause, which I am passionate about, and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so. It's my hope that my work inspires other young women to pursue careers in the non-profit sector and make a positive impact. As I look to the future, I am excited to see what lies ahead and the opportunity to continue to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
What is your leadership style?
AP: Leadership styles are unique to every individual, and it's important to identify the core values that shape your approach. My leadership style is based on a few key principles:
Passion for what I do
Willingness to learn and grow
Leading by example
Accepting that mistakes will happen but adapting to those mistakes is more important
Creating a good and conducive working environment where everyone feels part of the same journey
How important is it to address mental health issues in women?
AP: It is very important to address mental health issues for women. Just like any other illness, mental illness does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, socioeconomic background, etc. Women are confronted with high-stress situations on a daily basis. To add to this, marriage and moving away from home, pregnancy, and juggling multiple roles and expectations of people can compound issues. It is important to understand that there is credible information and resources available to help anyone who may be struggling to cope.
What will be your advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs or CEOs?
There is no substitute for hard work
Be patient, good things take time to build.
Although money is important, focus on the job at hand and everything else will follow.
Stay curious, willing to learn and grow
You will make many mistakes but remember that you learn more from failure than you do from success
No matter what anyone may say, remain confident in your own abilities
Most importantly, remain humble and try not to let either success or failure affect you too much