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Sushant Singh Rajput's Suicide Makes Hush-Hush Conversation on Depression Loud on Social Media

Representative image/Reuters

Representative image/Reuters

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide has once again unboxed the conversation around mental health and once again we are falling in the old patterns.

News of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death on this Sunday afternoon came as a sudden shock. The 34-year-old actor was found dead at his home in Mumbai and initial reports suggest that it was a case of suicide.

Sushant started his acting career from TV drama Pavitra Rishta and with his talent, he soon made it to the Bollywood. He gave some of the hit movies like Kai Po Che, MS Dhoni the Untold Story, Shuddh Desi Romance, etc.

Soon after the report of his death, the conversation around mental health started on social media as people found it difficult to wrap their heads around the fact that a young successful actor could end his life. In fact, 'Depression', after Sushant Singh Rajput, is trending on Twitter.

Unfortunately, it is perhaps also the only time social media is talking about suicide, depression and mental health. It's usually, a fleeting conversation.

The fact is that Sushant did end his life, no matter how successful, how young or how promising. He was going through something so gruelling that ending his life seemed easier than living it. On the face of it, all was okay in his life, a young talented actor with some hit movies in his kitty, but beneath the clam surface, was tumultuous mental health.

His death has reignited the conversation on mental health but with the same old patterns. There are those who are sad and empathise. Then there are those who ask WHY. Then there are those who have suggestions on how to deal with failing mental health. "Call a friend, speak, ask for a hug."

Only if it had been that easy.

Here is one author who explained it to us all as to how "pick up the phone" is not the solution in mental health.

An activist too pointed out at what is missing in our conversations on mental health and suicide.

"We know so little about the suffering of the happiest person in the room", this line from one of the tweets sort of sums up the situation.

A lot of people also cited his latest film 'Chichore' which had the message that suicide is not the solution. There were many who found irony in this fact, but what they act on screen is not a reflection of their personal lives and situations.

Reach out, help, take care is now resonating on social media. Mental health is an issue and has been stigmatised since forever, a thing that cannot be afforded anymore. Each day, it is claiming more and more lives. Jiah Khan, Pratyusha Banerjee are some of the Indian actresses who ended their lives in recent years. In the year 2015, India recorded 1,33,623 suicides, an increase of 1.4% from 2014's 1,31,666 suicides.

Note: This news piece may be triggering. If you or someone you know needs help, call any of these helplines: Aasra (Mumbai) 022-27546669, Sneha (Chennai) 044-24640050, Sumaitri (Delhi) 011-23389090, Cooj (Goa) 0832- 2252525, Jeevan (Jamshedpur) 065-76453841, Pratheeksha (Kochi) 048-42448830, Maithri (Kochi) 0484-2540530, Roshni (Hyderabad) 040-66202000, Lifeline 033-64643267 (Kolkata).

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