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Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide on June 14 has re-ignited the conversation about the importance of mental health among Bollywood celebrities. While a few celebrities like top Bollywood producer Karan Johar — posting a syrupy eulougy remembering the actor — has been called shallow and fake, a cross-section of his colleagues have spoken up about the importance of mental health.
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Deepika Padukone: This top Bollywood star has been one of the biggest advocates of mental health and has openly spoken about her battle with depression. She has always maintained that a famous person who seems privileged can also be depressed and that it’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate. Following Rajput’s death, Padukone tweeted: “As a person who has had a lived experience with mental illness, I cannot stress enough about the importance of reaching out. Talk. Communicate. Express. Seek. Help. Remember you are not alone. WE are in this together. And most importantly, there is Hope.”
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Shaheen Bhatt: While her sister Alia Bhatt may have made snide remarks about Rajput on the catty TV show ‘Koffee With Karan’, Shaheen Bhatt – who has opened up about her struggle with depression — has asked everyone not to ‘sensationalise grief’. She has urged everyone to leave Rajput’s family alone during the funeral and give the actor’s loved ones some privacy and dignity during their dark phase in their life. “Each time I find myself saddened and frustrated by the lack of privacy and respect afforded to the people left behind. Funerals, chauthas and homes of grieving families are not photo ops. They can’t be,” pointed out Bhatt.
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Anil Kapoor: “If you feel like you are drowning, please reach out to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, family member or a professional,” urged Kapoor. He pointed out that it’s impossible to know what a person is going through in his life by looking at his outer image.
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Sophie Choudry: The former model and actress has urged her fans to speak up about mental health. Following Rajput’s death, the actress spoke about how she had endured a miserable week in her life by reaching out to her close friends. She also spoke about how everyone is vulnerable and that reaching out to someone is essential. “Wish you had reached out to someone. I’m gutted and hearbroken. To all those reading this, please don’t suffer alone, speak to someone, anyone,” tweeted Choudry.
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Amitabh Bachchan: The legendary actor wrote a lengthy post on his blog about how a brilliant talent like Sushant Singh Rajput could take his own life. He lamented the loss of an ‘ingenious talent’. “What kind of mind leads one to suicide is an eternal mystery … to end a most gainful life, is simply not talented,” said Bachchan.
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Celina Jaitly: “Having fought with depression, it’s not possible to reach out to any of the fakeness that surrounds you as a family. My heart breaks for his family & loved ones,” said Jaitly on her Facebook page adding that those suffering from mental health troubles often have suicidal thoughts due to the pain they are feeling.
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