10 Sep 2020  |   05:57am IST

It’s ok not to be ok

The importance of mental health is being highlighted in a short film that says it is ok not to be ok ANS seek mental health. Prominent Goans from various streams are part of a short film to raise awareness released to coincide with the World Suicide Prevention day today, Sept 10
It’s ok not to be ok

Team Cafe

The virus has caused a great deal of damage both economically and psychologically. Whilst the economic damage can be sorted out over a period of time, the psychological damage is a silent killer. Jobs lost and rapidly depleting savings can cause tremendous stress and cause harm to one's mental health. This year with the World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, Aneesh Gera,  Artiste and Music Producer produced a short film on the importance of maintaining one's mental health and more importantly it was ok not to be ok and one could seek professional help to sort matters out. 

Gera said “ My idea behind the project is simple, to create awareness and let people know it’s ok not to be ok & help is available. Every year for mental health awareness I put together a little passion project.” 

This year he partnered with COOJ, and decided to make a little film where it would be easy to explain in a nutshell as to what mental health, the warning signs and how to recognise them. 

Importantly the film talks about what do you do and what not to do and how and where to seek help. This has been scripted by mental health professionals. 

Breaking the stigma is paramount, so his idea was to get friends and a few professionals from the field into the film so people would realize everyone was in together for the same cause. The film features Instagram stars, sports professionals, business leaders & entrepreneurs, musicians and artists, actors, survivors, Police officers and of course doctors and mental health professionals. 

Dr Peter Castelino MD Cooj Mental Health Foundation said they had been running a suicide prevention distress helpline since 2021. Citing a very troubling statistic he said the country lost 8 full colleges worth of students, around 93,000, to suicides every year. This film he said would hopefully make the idea acceptable that it was absolutely ok to seek help if one was not feeling ok mentally. He said “Seventeen percent of all suicides in the world take place in India. Aneesh has been in touch with us for a while and we decided to do this film this year. We are also having a music concert on Sept 10. Workshops will also be conducted to raise awareness. We don’t have a national or a state policy and it is the need of the hour”. 

Noted actor Tapan Acharya said he was committed to being part of any issue that affected the people of Goa. He said “Due to the virus, people have been affected mentally and this film is highlighting the fact that it is ok not to be ok and one can seek professional help to sort oneself out. That is what motivated me to be part of this film”. 

Sahil Tavora FC Goa star felt mental health was an issue that was not talked about publicly and was still considered a taboo. He said “ It is something everyone goes through and has to be talked out. I can relate it to football too. An injury can keep you out for six months and those times can be very tough. I went through this when I was 18. Mental health is very important and I felt I had to be part of the film”. 

Noted RJ Ayesha Barreto said there were a couple of reasons why she was part of the film. She had lost a dear friend who lost his battle with depression and committed suicide and then she had also experienced some very dark moments in her life which she felt others need not go through. 

Aneesh Gera was not being an alarmist but a realist when he said that this was an issue that needed to be dealt with otherwise it would be the next pandemic.


Iddhar Udhar