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.
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.
It's not that easy. To pick the phone and call. To open mouth and let words flow out, even to someone sitting in front. However much they care for us. It's really difficult for some of us to talk.... https://t.co/y7z0NdFO1G — Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma 🇮🇳 (@BookLuster) June 14, 2020
An activist too pointed out at what is missing in our conversations on mental health and suicide.
With suicide of #SushantSinghRajput, Twitter is filled with posts like "I don't understand why he would do this!" and "if you're feeling sad, please just call a friend!!" Shows the absolute lack of understanding around mental health and suicide. We need better conversations. RIP. — Radhika Radhakrishnan 🏳️🌈✊🏾 (@so_radhikal) June 14, 2020
"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.
At a loss of words after hearing about Sushant Singh Rajput's passing away. Talented, hardworking, good-looking young man who fought all odds to carve his space in the industry. Tragic. We know so little about the suffering of the happiest person in the room. #SushantSinghRajput — Somya Lakhani (@somyalakhani) June 14, 2020
RIP, #SushantSinghRajput Depression is a serious medical illness and it is important for India to accept it, not stigmatize it! — Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) June 14, 2020
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.
The fact that you can be AIR rank holder, a well recognized actor, heck even do a film about how to deal with suicidal thoughts and yet be unable to bear the mental pain just goes to show how DEPRESSION IS REAL AND DOESN'T SPARE ANYONE — Adnan (@Adnanana_batman) June 14, 2020
Please take care of your loved ones if they are in depression/ feeling low or worried about something. We never know what they are going through. — Chanandler Bong (@ChhBong) June 14, 2020
NO #SushantSinghRajput ! Depression is a dangerous medical illness, and it is important for India to accept it, not stigmatize it... You will be missed HERO :broken_heart: pic.twitter.com/t0xsDzok9Z — Pragya Mishra (@PragyaLive) June 14, 2020
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).