Aman Iqbal introduces '#IAmHere4You' movement in support of people suffering from Mental Illness
- Initiative launched to coincide with World Mental Health Day
- The Grey Ribbon campaign to generate awareness about mental illness and ask people to join the cause to extend support to those in need
- Bipasha Basu joins in support with Aman Iqbal, wears the Grey Ribbon
New Delhi: India, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), has one of the largest population suffering from one form of mental illness or the other. The report pegs that 6.5 per cent of Indians suffer from some form of serious mental disorder, with no discernible rural-urban differences.
In India, the situation is a cause of worry with low awareness about the subject, the social stigma attached to it and lack of support from society. While there is much sympathy for mental health sufferers, stigmatization is widespread.
To raise awareness about the issue, and garner support for the large population suffering, Aman Iqbal, a healthcare visionary and founder of Vantage Enterprises, has announced "IAmHere4You" movement. This movement is aimed at addressing the stigma that is attached with the people with mental illness, spread the positive word of mouth through the army of individuals who will come forth to support the cause, and ultimately create space in the society for an open dialogue on mental health and its reception in a positive manner.
Announcing the '#IAmHere4You' movement, Aman Iqbal said, "Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, a lack of awareness, and limited access to professional help, only 10-12% of these sufferers seek help. We want to change this. Our movement '#IAmHere4You' will drive support for the mental health sufferers from fellow Indians. Awareness is the first step in this direction and thus the 'Grey Ribbon' campaign will attract people through social media platforms where they will wear the Grey Ribbon as a mark of acknowledgement, and pledge their support."
The introductory tweet from Aman called out to the social universe for the movement
At just 6,000 psychiatrists for 1.35 billion people, India has a very low ratio of mental health experts. The '#IAmHere4You' movement stands for the fighting stigma attached to Mental Health and creates torch bearers to guide the way for those in need of support. The movement has found Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu as an early supporter for the cause.
Wearing the Grey Ribbon and endorsing the '#IAmHere4You' movement, Bipasha Basu said, "Mental Health remains the most neglected topic. But not anymore, Interventions in the form of medicine, psychological and social help, can make a huge difference. On the World Mental Health Day, I stand with every Indian suffering with #MentalIllness. To show my support, I will wear this grey ribbon as a testament to their individual strength and resilience. I am joining #iamhere4You campaign with Aman Iqbal and will wear this grey ribbon to support the cause."
Bipasha also tweeted in support of the campaign
Low awareness.Stigma.Lack of care. Those with mental health issues battle these daily. Tomorrow on World Mental Health Day join me,as I pledge with @amaniqbal and wear this grey ribbon to be there for people suffering from mental illness. I salute your resilience. #IAmHere4You pic.twitter.com/aUhvPUvf1d— Bipasha Basu (@bipsluvurself) October 9, 2019
The '#IAmHere4You' movement aims to address the serious mental health crisis India is suffering from, with an estimated 56 million people suffering from depression and 38 million from anxiety disorders, according to WHO.
'I hope the positive word on our movement spreads ad reached everyone who needs to hear and know it. May this be the end of the thought where people talk about metal health as they used to talk about AIDs once upon a time. I wish this movement to contribute to the health index of our country, for a healthy nation is built of people with healthy minds, added Aman Iqbal.
About Aman Iqbal and Vantage Enterprises
Aman is the Founder of Vantage Enterprise, a movement for automating healthcare industry using data. Vantage Enterprise is focused on leveraging human health data to streamline the healthcare industry. Through its fund, IQGEN, Vantage Enterprise aims to invest in technology-driven healthcare companies in India and other Asian nations.
In his professional career spanning over a decade, Aman has had diverse working experience from academia, to mid-cap biotech to public-private research organization funded by all major Pharma companies and numerous healthcare based startups. He has won many accolades including Primer Minister's Top 40 under 40 emerging entrepreneurs of Canada to NextFounders, and member of the Executive Club of Canada.
Aman also sits on the board of RadiomicsAI (winner of the world's top 20 companies in the Medical AI space by Red Herring group). Aman got his PhD in Chemical Biology at the ripe age of 24 from the University of Oxford where he was a Wellcome trust fellow making him the youngest PhD in Chemistry from South Asia.