Why do many South Asians regard mental illness as taboo?
Kal Dhindsa, whose father and uncle both killed themselves, wrote a book about the tragedy; My Father & The Lost Legend of Pear Tree.
“In our culture, men are seen as the breadwinner, men of the house, top of their game,” he said. “So sufferers try to remain strong and we don’t talk about it.
“Women also find it hard to talk because they fear they’ll be labelled as ‘possessed’.”
But he believes his community should address the lack of communication about mental health that leads to people suffering in silence.
“My dad didn’t share what was on his mind – and he took his life,” he said.
“In retrospect the signs were there. We, as a community, need to talk more about these ‘difficult’ things. Talking is the cure to this illness.”