According to a World Health Organisation report released in 2018, India was ranked the ‘most depressed country’ in the world, closely followed by China and the United States. Nearly 6.5% of the population suffer from some form of mental illness, a fact aggravated by the absence of any correlation between patients and mental healthcare professionals in the country — currently, India boasts a ratio of 1 doctor for every 1,00,000 patients.
Not surprisingly, the suicide rate in the country stands at 10.9 for every 100,000 people. In fact, suicide is one of the single-biggest causes of deaths in the age group of 15-24.
The WHO report also revealed that nearly 80% people diagnosed with mental sickness did not seek any sort of treatment or medical intervention even as there were close to 150 million who needed therapy. This number is expected to increase by as much as 20% by 2020.
It was in this backdrop that a new print campaign called ‘The Great Expectations’ was launched by Safe Space India, a programme conducted by We Hear You, a support group co-founded by Nyana Sabharwal, a suicide researcher, in Mumbai. Safe Space provides or facilitates ‘safe spaces’ for those who are mentally disturbed to open up and share their feelings of distress, hopelessness, and suicidal feelings. Sabharwal’s mother herself had committed suicide when Sabharwal was in her teens.
Safe Space India entrusted Mumbai-based agency, Yellow, to interpret it creatively and evocatively.
The campaign says: “The stigma surrounding suicide is widespread and often treated as a taboo. Striving to break this stigma, Safe Space India sheds light on suicide and mental health issues through social media, educating the audience through a combination of facts, figures, and science, highlighting signs to look out for, and encouraging them to seek help. #TheGreatExpectations showcases how expectations set by families, teachers, bosses, and others affect an individual’s mental health. When the bar is set unreasonably high, the pressure can often drive people to kill themselves by suicide.”
Founded by Shrey Doshi in 2013, Yellow calls itself “a holistic branding and digital marketing agency”.
Advertising Agency: Yellow | Branding and Digital Marketing Agency, Mumbai, India
Concept and Creative Direction: Neeraj Menon, Milind Gawas
Writer: Priyanshee Parekh