David Liano scales Mt. Everest in support of mental health awareness


BENGALURU: On a motorcycle trip through India last year, David Liano learnt about actor Deepika Padukone’s Live Love Laugh Foundation for Mental Health.  Having seen members of his family suffer anxiety attacks, depression and bipolar disorder, David decided to support the Foundation’s cause. And how.

On May 12, the Mexican mountaineer scaled the Mount Everest for the sixth time. This time, however, the climb was different on two counts:  He climbed without oxygen and he carried the Bengaluru-based NGO’s banner to the summit.

In a selfie video he shot (with his Sherpa) at the summit, Liano says: “We made it. So happy . We’re climbing for mental health awareness…If there is anybody in your life that is going through a hard time, please get close to them… You can change their life.” Before the climb too, Liano used the NGO’s tagline #YouAreNotAlone in every post on social media.

Liano, who started climbing a volcanic peak in Mexico at the age of 13, has climbed the highest peaks in all the continents across the world. What’s more, he is a runner, a sailor and a para-glider.  Surmounting new challenges is the story of his life.

Personal satisfaction, however, could not be an end in itself. “I have always felt that these activities are selfish. So much money and effort go into one person.  I realized that it will be much more meaningful if it is done with a higher purpose,” he says.

At 9,000 metres above the rest of the world and with no safety nets, the summit is a lonely place, says Liano, “But this time, I truly felt like I was not alone. The thought of my family and all the people who wrote to me about their experiences with depression came to my mind.”

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