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AAPI organizes walkathon for mental health awareness

“Be the Change – All for Global Health” themed event was part of AAPI’s global health summit

American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) organized a walkathon on the serene oceanside of the Bay of Bengal at Visakhapatnam, India to create awareness on mental health.

A part of AAPI’s Global Healthcare Summit, the walkathon  with the theme “Be the Change – All for Global Health,” was led by Surgeon Rear Admiral R Ravi, Command Medical Officer of Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command.

Read: AAPI Global Health Summit opens in Visakhapatnam (January 7, 2023)

Nearly 500 students from local schools and colleges, and dozens of delegates at the 16th annual summit participated in the event on Sunday, according to an AAPI press release.

AAPI President Dr Ravi Kolli, who is a psychiatrist himself, said, “One of the major objectives this year for AAPI has been to create awareness of mental health and the importance of mental well-being with good mental health practices.

“At AAPI we are striving to educate all to face the stigma and overcome the barriers that prevent us from seeking help to manage our mental health issues.”

Kolli urged administrators in colleges and schools to address this problem and come up with solutions to raise awareness and remove the stigma.

“We cannot have good physical health without good mental health,” he said. Therefore, my call to all of you is to take care of your mental health and promote mental health and make a pledge to take care of each other and address your mental health issues and challenges openly and proudly, just like you would take care of your physical health problems.”

Read: Vivek Murthy teams up with ‘Calm’ to support mental health (December 9, 2022)

Sobhita Dhulipala, a popular Telugu movie star, who was the chief guest and walked with the students and AAPI leaders, encouraged the youth to care for their mental health needs just as they care for their physical health.

“Someone told me that if a person reaches the age 50 or 60 without having had to take a tablet in his life, then he’s a truly a wealthy man and I think, that’s such a such a rare situation in today’s world,” she said.

Ravi lauded AAPI for the many noble initiatives it has taken in India and the US, benefitting millions of people.

“The Global Healthcare Summit is an excellent platform, where eminent physicians from across the world come here and share their knowledge and experiences and ideas to make the healthcare better in our country, he said wishing AAPI more and more successful initiatives in the future in continuing with its mission,” he said.

Read: AAPI’s 16th Annual Global Health Summit Inaugurated in Visakhapatnam (January 7, 2023)

Dr. Sunita Polepalli, chair of the walkathon program highlighted some of the major initiative of AAPI over the past four decades in the US and in India. Among them efforts to raise awareness about suicide prevention and removing the stigma associated with mental health.

Students from Ranga Raya Medical College presented a drama focusing on the theme, creating awareness on the need to care for one’s mental health.

For more information on AAPI and its programs, please visit:

One Comment

  1. Harold A Maio

    —“At AAPI we are striving to educate all to face the stigma and overcome the barriers that prevent us from seeking help to manage our mental health issues.”

    —face the stigma ???

    That we are told to “face the stigma” is all too common. Curiously we are not told to confront the stigmatizers.

    Harold A Maio

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