formula one

How many Ferrari mechanics does it take to change a spark plug? Talking points from Japanese GP

Lewis Hamilton romped to victory at Suzuka to close in on a fourth world title after Sebastian Vettel retired with engine failure on lap four.

Lewis Hamilton romped to victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday to close in on a fourth world title after Sebastian Vettel retired with engine failure on lap four.

The Briton dominated from pole, steering his Mercedes to a crushing eighth win of the year, stretching his Formula One championship lead over Vettel to 59 points with just 100 left to play for. The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen – who stunned Hamilton to win in Malaysia last week – and Daniel Ricciardo secured a double podium for the second successive race.

Valtteri Bottas finished fourth in the second Mercedes with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari taking fifth and Esteban Ocon sixth for Force India.

Here are the five big talking points from the Japanese Grand Prix after the unexpected final results.

How many Ferrari mechanics does it take to change a spark plug?

The sight of Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene looking glumly at the floor after Sebastian Vettel’s early retirement told a story in Suzuka. A week after a fuming Ferrari president Sergio Marchione spoke of “organisational changes” for a string of costly mistakes in recent races, it would be little surprise if heads roll at Maranello. The fiasco surrounding Vettel’s retirement after just four laps – caused by a humble spark plug – sounds like the punchline to a bad joke.

Get a room!

After sharing the podium with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in Suzuka, race winner Lewis Hamilton noted the banter between Red Bull pair and smiled: “I’ve never seen drivers such great friends. Do you guys share a room?” Hamilton’s relationships with his own team-mates have largely been more fractious (honourable mentions: Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg). Verstappen, who had given Hamilton a late fright in the race, didn’t bat an eyelid. “Yeah we actually share a bed,” he replied.

Seb keeps his cool

Vettel would have been well within his rights to throw his toys out of the pram after Ferrari’s latest mechanical failure. The German may have been hopping mad as his title hopes were frazzled by a faulty spark plug but he coolly held it together in his TV interviews. “I need to protect [the team] – they’ve done an incredible job,” said Vettel. Compare that to Hamilton’s histrionics last year when he suggested Mercedes could be conspiring against him after an engine fire in Malaysia.

Over and out for Palmer?

Jolyon Palmer admitted he may never return to Formula One after completing his final drive for Renault with a 12th-place finish in Japan. The Briton, who makes way for Carlos Sainz, faces an uncertain future and may need to explore options outside of F1. “On the plane back home it will probably sink in,” he said, despondently, although the sight of Sainz crashing his Toro Rosso into a wall on lap one will surely have made him feel a little better.

Naughty ‘Nando’

You just can’t keep Fernando Alonso away from controversy. This year, he managed to avoid turning the airwaves blue over team radio at Suzuka, home of McLaren’s engine suppliers Honda, after a profane outburst 12 months ago. But the Spaniard got into hot water for interfering with the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen in the closing stages of the race. Alonso, who was fighting for 10th with Felipe Massa, ignored blue flags ordering him to get out of the way, earning him a couple of penalty points.

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Removing the layers of complexity that weigh down mental health in rural India

Patients in rural areas of the country face several obstacles to get to treatment.

Two individuals, with sombre faces, are immersed in conversation in a sunlit classroom. This image is the theme across WHO’s 2017 campaign ‘Depression: let’s talk’ that aims to encourage people suffering from depression or anxiety to seek help and get assistance. The fact that depression is the theme of World Health Day 2017 indicates the growing global awareness of mental health. This intensification of the discourse on mental health unfortunately coincides with the global rise in mental illness. According to the latest estimates from WHO, more than 300 million people across the globe are suffering from depression, an increase of 18% between 2005 and 2015.

In India, the National Mental Health Survey of India, 2015-16, conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) revealed the prevalence of mental disorders in 13.7% of the surveyed population. The survey also highlighted that 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. Perhaps the most crucial finding from this survey is the disclosure of a huge treatment gap that remains very high in our country and even worse in rural areas.

According to the National Mental Health Programme, basic psychiatric care is mandated to be provided in every primary health centre – the state run rural healthcare clinics that are the most basic units of India’s public health system. The government provides basic training for all primary health centre doctors, and pays for psychiatric medication to be stocked and available to patients. Despite this mandate, the implementation of mental health services in rural parts of the country continues to be riddled with difficulties:

Attitudinal barriers

In some rural parts of the country, a heavy social stigma exists against mental illness – this has been documented in many studies including the NIMHANS study mentioned earlier. Mental illness is considered to be the “possession of an evil spirit in an individual”. To rid the individual of this evil spirit, patients or family members rely on traditional healers or religious practitioners. Lack of awareness on mental disorders has led to further strengthening of this stigma. Most families refuse to acknowledge the presence of a mental disorder to save themselves from the discrimination in the community.

Lack of healthcare services

The average national deficit of trained psychiatrists in India is estimated to be 77% (0.2 psychiatrists per 1,00,000 population) – this shows the scale of the problem across rural and urban India. The absence of mental healthcare infrastructure compounds the public health problem as many individuals living with mental disorders remain untreated.

Economic burden

The scarcity of healthcare services also means that poor families have to travel great distances to get good mental healthcare. They are often unable to afford the cost of transportation to medical centres that provide treatment.

After focussed efforts towards awareness building on mental health in India, The Live Love Laugh Foundation (TLLLF), founded by Deepika Padukone, is steering its cause towards understanding mental health of rural India. TLLLF has joined forces with The Association of People with Disability (APD), a non-governmental organisation working in the field of disability for the last 57 years to work towards ensuring quality treatment for the rural population living with mental disorders.

APD’s intervention strategy starts with surveys to identify individuals suffering from mental illnesses. The identified individuals and families are then directed to the local Primary Healthcare Centres. In the background, APD capacity building programs work simultaneously to create awareness about mental illnesses amongst community workers (ASHA workers, Village Rehabilitation Workers and General Physicians) in the area. The whole complex process involves creating the social acceptance of mental health conditions and motivating them to approach healthcare specialists.

Participants of the program.
Participants of the program.

When mental health patients are finally free of social barriers and seeking help, APD also mobilises its network to make treatments accessible and affordable. The organisation coordinates psychiatrists’ visits to camps and local healthcare centres and ensures that the necessary medicines are well stocked and free medicines are available to the patients.

We spent a lot of money for treatment and travel. We visited Shivamogha Manasa and Dharwad Hospital for getting treatment. We were not able to continue the treatment for long as we are poor. We suffered economic burden because of the long- distance travel required for the treatment. Now we are getting quality psychiatric service near our village. We are getting free medication in taluk and Primary Healthcare Centres resulting in less economic stress.

— A parent's experience at an APD treatment camp.

In the two years TLLLF has partnered with APD, 892 and individuals with mental health concerns have been treated in the districts of Kolar, Davangere, Chikkaballapur and Bijapur in Karnataka. Over 4620 students participated in awareness building sessions. TLLLF and APD have also secured the participation of 810 community health workers including ASHA workers in the mental health awareness projects - a crucial victory as these workers play an important role in spreading awareness about health. Post treatment, 155 patients have resumed their previous occupations.

To mark World Mental Health Day, 2017, a team from TLLLF lead by Deepika Padukone visited program participants in the Davengere district.

Sessions on World Mental Health Day, 2017.
Sessions on World Mental Health Day, 2017.

In the face of a mental health crisis, it is essential to overcome the treatment gap present across the country, rural and urban. While awareness campaigns attempt to destigmatise mental disorders, policymakers need to make treatment accessible and cost effective. Until then, organisations like TLLLF and APD are doing what they can to create an environment that acknowledges and supports people who live with mental disorders. 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.