Arjun Bijlani has been addressing the issue of mental health for quite some time now. The actor has even started a helpline for people in the television industry. Concerned that people are likely to face such issues more during the present Covid-19 crisis, he’s hopeful the helpline — whose numbers he has shared on social media — will come in handy.
“Most of us are dealing with some kind of stress irrespective of whether we have facilities or not. This health crisis has badly affected the job market and that’s one of the main concerns at the moment. The news of people getting affected, deaths worldwide, obviously leaves us worried. No one knows when things will get better,” he says.
Bijlani adds that too much “moral policing” also leads to “anxiety and depression” among people.
He continues, “Sometimes, it’s important to let people find their own path. We often overburden our children with what’s right and wrong that they forget to use their own thought process and get stressed thinking how they’d be judged if they make a mistake. And these young minds are equally affected by this crisis, so we need to take care of them.
Father to a five-year-old son, Ayaan, the actor confesses dealing with depression at a personal level. “I’m a workaholic. Being cooped up in my house, not being able to the sets is frustrating. We know the industry is raring to resume work, but safety will be a major concern. Then budget, remuneration and unit related restrictions also need to be reworked. So, these things worry me,” he shares.
However, Bijlani doesn’t allow such negative thoughts to bother him for too long. “The best way to keep them away is to talk about it to your friends and family. I do that often. Also, Ayaan’s happy face takes away all my stress,” he says, adding everyone should find out what makes them happy.
“If you enjoy reading, writing, singing, even sky gazing or sleeping, do that. We can win over any difficulty if we smile at our problems, stay strong and positive,” he adds.
Another thing that has bothered Bijlani during this lockdown is reading about the incidents of attack on health and police personnels, besides people flouting safety norms. He asserts, “What some people are doing is unacceptable. But, you never know what inner devils many are fighting. Not justifying any of these acts, I feel most of it is related to deteriorating mental health. It’s important to identify the crisis, accept it and face it headstrong. And ensure that the right message goes out.”
The actor is therefore spreading awareness through social media in a subtle way. “We all know the safety measures but many aren’t paying heed. Through my videos, I try and give out the message that this is what I’m doing to stay safe, hoping that might make a difference.”
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