Normal.Numb wields the power of theatre to fight for suicide prevention and mental health awareness

‘Normal.Numb’ marked World Suicide Prevention Day in Ahmedabad through a three-day performance series organised by Saath Charitable Trust and Arpita Dhagat’s team of performers. 

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A recent Lancet study indicates that nearly 40% of suicides by women world-over are by Indian women. In light of this appalling statistic, suicide has surfaced as a major health crisis in India. On World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, Ahmedabad witnessed a three-day public performance series called Normal.Numb at various locations in the city. The performance series was a collaborative effort between Saath Charitable Trust’s Suicide Prevention Centre, and National School of Drama alumnus Arpita Dhagat and 13 of her team members to create awareness about anxiety and depression.

Saath, a non-government body that has been working on empowering communities and individuals through various mediums since the past 20 years, reached out to Arpita Dhagat to communicate to the youth the importance of mental health through the art of theatre. Each performance was prepared in consultation with mental health specialists and psychologists. The discussions during the three-day event called upon the presence of various thoughtful people like the expressive artist Srushti Pattani, psychologist Purnima Gupta, founder member of Saath, Anju Sheth, and therapeutic healer Anju Sheth.

In this video, Arpita Dhagat explains to CreativeYatra correspondent Himanshu Nainani the purpose of the Normal.Numb event and how it tried to make a difference in the life of the youth. Also on interview is Nishmin Marshall, the Director of Saath Charitable Trust, as she talks about Saath’s Suicide Prevention Centre and its other activities on mental health awareness. The video is shot at HL College of Commerce, which was one of the venues for the Normal.Numb performances.

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