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A high point for mental health in India

Record breaking mountaineer and adventurer David Liaño, who has climbed Mount Everest five times, will climb again – this time without oxygen to show his support for the Live Love Laugh Foundation and to raise awareness of mental health.

The 36-year-old adventurer is a legend in more ways than one! He has summited the Everest five times already. He was the first person to double summit Mount Everest in one climbing season. He also completed both versions of the Seven Summits (Aconcagua, Mount McKinley, Kilimanjaro, Mount Kosciuszko, Everest, Mount Elbrus, Vinson Massif and Carstensz Pyramid). And he’s attempting his sixth Everest summit this May without oxygen.

And those are just his mountaineering feats. David is also an accomplished paraglider and has flown several cross-country flights in Mexico, French, Swiss and Austrian Alps, Nepal, and US. Passionate about sailing, he has sailed over 7,000 kilometres in the Pacific Ocean – solo, non-stop, and unassisted. And that’s not all – David ran over 20 marathons and over 200 races. Whew!

It’s rather unusual that a mountaineer like David, should want to do something about mental illness in India. But he revealed that when he was doing his research on India for his trip last year, he came across the Foundation’s website. And impressed by their mission and cognizant about the stigma of mental health in the country, he decided to dedicate this climb to the cause, and carrying The Live Love Laugh Foundation’s banner with him to the summit.

david

“Climbing Mount Everest is a huge challenge, but it doesn’t compare with the tough times that people going through depression and mental illness can go through. I know firsthand how difficult it can be for them. Several members of my family have been victims of depression, bipolar disorders, and anxiety attacks. I have seen both – the consequences of succumbing to depression and the impact of seeking treatment. My 24-year-old cousin committed suicide and, on the other hand, my own younger brother lived with depression for close to two years. At one moment, he would be perfectly normal, watching TV. And then suddenly, he’d have anxiety attacks – he would be unable to breathe normally, his heart-rate would speed up for no reason and there were moments he thought he would die. But he sought help and was able to gain control over his circumstances. Today, he’s married, has a young daughter, and a great job.”

Deepika applauded David’s efforts with two tweets that read:

David in turn acknowledged the same by tweeting:

David hopes to begin his attempt on April 1, 2016. He will be carrying a banner that says ‘#YouAreNotAlone’ and raising awareness on the issue of widespread depression in India and the world and urge people to confront it and seek medical help. We at The Live Love Laugh Foundation will be closely following his journey, and so can you. You could follow us on our Facebook page: TLLLFoundation or on Twitter: @TLLLFoundation. Do help support the cause of mental health and depression using the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone. In David’s words, “We never know how a little support can give someone the courage to fight their circumstances.”

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