formula one

With an eye on Michael Schumacher's record, Lewis Hamilton gets ready for Belgian Grand Prix

Playing in his 200th Grand Prix at Spa, the Briton is eyeing to equal German Formula One legend’s record of 68 pole positions.

Three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will start his 200th Grand Prix in Belgium this weekend, seeking to match German legend Michael Schumacher’s record of 68 pole positions.

With the summer break out of the way, the British driver will be chasing his fifth win of the season as he bids to claw back points on title-race leader, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Back in Europe after spending Formula One’s now-traditional European summer break in the Caribbean, Hamilton, who gave up third for his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in Hungary, lies 14 points behind Vettel.

Hamilton won at Spa in 2015, but was beaten by team-mate and 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg last year and has had mixed results at the famous old sprawling and high-speed circuit.

In 2008, when he won his first title, he was relegated from first to third for cutting a chicane, and he has suffered in other incidents including a collision with Rosberg, that left him with a puncture, in 2014.

Seeking his third Belgian win, Hamilton will be the pre-race favourite to win again, but knows that Ferrari have regained the momentum in the title race following their dominant one-two finish led by Vettel in Hungary.

Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff has already warned his squad not to take anything for granted.

“Assumptions are dangerous,” he said. “We have seen too many times already this season that the form book can be rewritten from one weekend to the next.

“So we will be making no assumptions.”

The race may also be affected – as often in the past – by the capricious micro-climate of the region, which can mean parts of the track are under water in rainfall while others remain dry.

That, for Max Verstappen, may be a bonus as he bids to put a mixed season to date back on the road.

“I just love the track and it’ll be nice seeing so many orange fans in the stands,” said Red Bull’s Belgium-born Dutch driver.

“Spa is my favourite track – you have to get everything right, but when you get a good lap, it’s very rewarding.”

That could also be said of Ferrari’s second driver Kimi Raikkonen, a four-time Spa winner, who has been confirmed on the team’s roster next year.

“It will not be easy for us, as Mercedes has the horsepower, but we will do what we can and who knows? Let’s see what happens.”

A big crowd is expected to camp out and herald Formula One’s “return to work” from the beach at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix where Stoffel Vandoorne will hope to mark his retention by McLaren with a strong showing in front of his home fans.

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Changing the conversation around mental health in rural India

Insights that emerged from discussions around mental health at a village this World Mental Health Day.

Questioning is the art of learning. For an illness as debilitating as depression, asking the right questions is an important step in social acceptance and understanding. How do I open-up about my depression to my parents? Can meditation be counted as a treatment for depression? Should heartbreak be considered as a trigger for deep depression? These were some of the questions addressed by a panel consisting of the trustees and the founder of The Live Love Lough Foundation (TLLLF), a platform that seeks to champion the cause of mental health. The panel discussion was a part of an event organised by TLLLF to commemorate World Mental Health Day.

According to a National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), common mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders affect nearly 10% of the population, with 1 in 20 people in India suffering from depression. The survey reported a huge treatment gap, a problem that is spread far and wide across urban and rural parts of the country.

On 10th of October, trustees of the foundation, Anna Chandy, Dr. Shyam Bhat and Nina Nair, along with its founder, Deepika Padukone, made a visit to a community health project centre in Devangere, Karnataka. The project, started by The Association of People with Disability (APD) in 2010, got a much-needed boost after partnering with TLLLF 2 years ago, helping them reach 819 people suffering from mental illnesses and spreading its program to 6 Taluks, making a difference at a larger scale.

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During the visit, the TLLLF team met patients and their families to gain insights into the program’s effectiveness and impact. Basavaraja, a beneficiary of the program, spoke about the issues he faced because of his illness. He shared how people used to call him mad and would threaten to beat him up. Other patients expressed their difficulty in getting access to medical aid for which they had to travel to the next biggest city, Shivmoga which is about 2 hours away from Davangere. A marked difference from when TLLLF joined the project two years ago was the level of openness and awareness present amongst the villagers. Individuals and families were more expressive about their issues and challenges leading to a more evolved and helpful conversation.

The process of de-stigmatizing mental illnesses in a community and providing treatment to those who are suffering requires a strong nexus of partners to make progress in a holistic manner. Initially, getting different stakeholders together was difficult because of the lack of awareness and resources in the field of mental healthcare. But the project found its footing once it established a network of support from NIMHANS doctors who treated the patients at health camps, Primary Healthcare Centre doctors and the ASHA workers. On their visit, the TLLLF team along with APD and the project partners discussed the impact that was made by the program. Were beneficiaries able to access the free psychiatric drugs? Did the program help in reducing the distance patients had to travel to get treatment? During these discussions, the TLLLF team observed that even amongst the partners, there was an increased sense of support and responsiveness towards mental health aid.

The next leg of the visit took the TLLLF team to the village of Bilichodu where they met a support group that included 15 patients and caregivers. Ujjala Padukone, Deepika Padukone’s mother, being a caregiver herself, was also present in the discussion to share her experiences with the group and encouraged others to share their stories and concerns about their family members. While the discussion revolved around the importance of opening up and seeking help, the team brought about a forward-looking attitude within the group by discussing future possibilities in employment and livelihood options available for the patients.

As the TLLLF team honoured World Mental Health day, 2017 by visiting families, engaging with support groups and reviewing the successes and the challenges in rural mental healthcare, they noticed how the conversation, that was once difficult to start, now had characteristics of support, openness and a positive outlook towards the future. To continue this momentum, the organisation charted out the next steps that will further enrich the dialogue surrounding mental health, in both urban and rural areas. The steps include increasing research on mental health, enhancing the role of social media to drive awareness and decrease stigma and expanding their current programs. To know more, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of The Live Love Laugh Foundation and not by the Scroll editorial team.