Wockhardt Foundation Organizes Roundtable Conference to Discuss ‘Mental Health and the Role of Corporate Social Responsibility’


Mumbai, Complex modern lifestyles with an overall lack of support system and economic disparities have caused a rapid increase in mental health deterioration. In a discussion on Mental Health and the role of Corporate Social Responsibility by Wockhardt Foundation in Mumbai on Friday, it was stressed that we need to take an urgent step to control growing mental illness in India.
Conference to discuss the current Indian scenario of Mental Health and the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The key-note speakers for the conference Mrs.
Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Mpower, an Aditya Birla Education Trust initiative. The welcome address was given by Dr Huzaifa Khorakiwala, Founder &
Chairman of Wockhardt Foundation. Various other prominent NGOs and CSR professionals active on Mental Health issues were also present.
The conference focused on discussing mental health concerns plaguing India, forming a solution-centric approach to the issues, discussing ways to utilize CSR resources to
tackle the problems, highlight the required policy change along with the need to increase public-private partnerships.
Mrs Birla has been felicitated with several awards for her contribution in the field of mental health and has initiated campaigns like ‘Ride to Mpower’ which aims to encourage conversations & break the stigma related to mental illness. She commented, “It is unfortunate that in our country mental health issues have traditionally been ignored
or swept under the carpet – due to lack of awareness and education on one hand, and due to the stigma and the discrimination attached to them, on the other. Now, more than
ever the need to have more mental health services is necessary. I’m happy to be a part of Talk for Action Wockhardt Conference where this critical issue was discussed and I
hope to see more corporates focus their CSR efforts on addressing these complex issues.”
Dr Huzaifa Khorakiwala said, “India has one of the largest populations suffering from one form of mental illness or the other and that one in five Indians may suffer from
depression in their lifetime, with suicide being the leading cause of death among those aged 15–29 in India. We must wake up and take action now. We need to strengthen
and implement mental health policies and programs in the near future and provide the rationale to enhance investment in mental health care in India and CSR resources must
be utilized for this purpose.”
Asmita Satyarthi, Director, Wockhardt Foundation, said, “Wockhardt Foundation CSR HUB is committed to promoting healthy dialogue and communication, especially to bring
more emphasis on issues that need a stronger CSR focus. This conference is the first step to bring various stakeholders together on one platform to discuss this very
important issue. Corporates must take a lead in breaking the taboo and enabling concrete action on Mental Health.”
Some relevant facts about Mental Health in India 
• Prevalence of mental illness, such as mood disorders, is higher among males (13.9%) as compared to females (7.5%)
• 22.4% of the population above 18 years suffers from substance use disorder, majorly tobacco and alcohol
• Alcohol use is found to be higher in males (9%) as against females (0.5%)
• Nearly 1% of the population reports high suicidal tendencies
• Prevalence of mental illness among teenagers (13 to 17 years) is 7.3% with the most common being depression
• The treatment gap for mental disorders ranges between 70% and 92% across different disorders
• 150 million people in India are affected by mental illness but only 10-12% of these individuals will seek help
• Suicide is the leading cause of death among those aged 15–29 in India