Actress Deepika Padukone has joined the chorus of celebrity voices speaking out in support of US gymnastics star Simone Biles after she pulled out of the Olympics for her mental health. The 24-year-old gymnast exited the Olympic women's gymnastics team final on July 27 and all-around final on July 28, saying: "I have to do what's right for me and focus on my mental health and not jeopardise my health and my wellbeing." Her participation in the rest of the Olympics is uncertain.
On Wednesday, Deepika Padukone, who has battled depression and runs a foundation for mental health, shared an Instagram Story with a news headline about Simone Biles and her Olympic exit over mental health concerns. "I hear you," Deepika Padukone, a longtime advocate of the importance of focusing on mental health, wrote in a show of support for the gymnast.
The Padmaavat actress tagged Simone Biles and her mental health foundation, Live Love Laugh, in her Instagram Story. She also added the hashtags #mentalhealth and #mentalhealthmatters.
Deepika Padukone has opened up about her battle with depression in the past. She was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2014 and has repeatedly encouraged people with mental health issues to reach out and seek help. "As a person who has had a lived experience with mental illness, I cannot stress enough about the importance of reaching out. Talk. Communicate. Express. Seek help. Remember, you are not alone. We are all in this together. And most importantly, there is hope," she wrote in an Instagram post last year.
Deepika, however, wasn't the only Bollywood star to speak about mental health in view of Simone Biles's Olympic exit. To Alia Bhatt, it served as a reminder that mental health is as important as physical health.
Alia Bhatt also used the hashtag #MentalHealthMatters as she shared an Instagram Story featuring Simone Biles's press conference. "Put mental health first because, if you don't, you're not going to succeed as much as you want to," the gymnast says in the video. "It's okay sometimes to even sit out the big competitions."
Sharing the clip, Alia Bhatt wrote: "This helps change the narrative regarding mental health all over the world. More power to you."
There has been an outpouring of sympathy on social media for Biles, who is already a four-time olympic gold medallist. The 24-year-old had earlier hinted that she was feeling immense pressure in Tokyo, writing on Instagram: "I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times."
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