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Establishing a new milestone in the field of mental health on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, The National Tele-Mental Health Programme called Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS), was formally launched by the the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of India Dr. K. Sudhakar and the honorable Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot on Monday. This special programme in India is launched to improve mental health service delivery in the country. The programme initiated to provide free, round-the-clock teleconsultation service for mental health concerns. This programme is about to runs a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) at its core.
The technological support behind this programme is provided by the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore and this mental health service programme is also technically supported by the National Health Systems Resource Centre.
About The Programme
The Programme will be organized in a two-tier system.
- Tier 1 – It comprises state-level cells with trained counsellors and mental health specialists
- Tier 2 – It comprises the e-Sanjeevani, India’s National Telemedicine Service, which provides audio-visual consultation, and specialists from the District Mental Health Programme and partner medical colleges who are providing in-person consultations.
Earlier in a press meet, the union government said that this programme aims to open at least one Tele-MANAS cell in each state or union territory across the country. Presently, five regional coordination centres have been set up, along with 51 state or union territory-level Tele-MANAS cells and about 900 counsellors have been additionally trained by NIMHANS for this programme from the majority of states/UTs.
Tele-MANAS is planned to be linked with other services like National tele-consultation service, e-Sanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centres as well as with mental health professionals and emergency psychiatric facilities.
A toll-free, 24/7 helpline number (14416) has been set up across the country allowing the customers to select the language of choice to avail the services. The calls would be connected to Tele-MANAS cells in the respective state and union territory.
The central government also added that ” in due course this will include the entire range of mental wellness and illness, and integrate all systems that provide mental health care”.
The mentoring institutes are AIIMS, Patna, AIIMS Raipur, CIP Ranchi, AIIMS Bhopal, AIIMS Kalyani, AIIMS Bhubaneshwar, PGIMER, Chandigarh, Hospital for Mental Health, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Inst. of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour Bambolim Goa, AIIMS, Nagpur, AIIMS, Jodhpur, KGMU Lucknow, AIIMS Rishikesh, IHBAS, Delhi, IGMS, Shimla, Psychiatric Diseases Hospital, Govt. Medical College, Srinagar, LGBRIMH, Tezpur, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, IMHANS, Kozhikode, Kerala, IMH, Chennai, IMH, Hyderabad, JIPMER and AIIMS, Mangalagiri.
The programme will launched by number of states and UT’s, which includes Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chhattisgarh, Dadra Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Tele-MANAS Initiative: Overview
- Tele-MANAS pursues to offer 24/7 free tele-mental health services all around the nation, with a focus on those who live in isolated or underserved locations.
- Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States is the full name of Tele-MANAS.
- A network of 23 centers for excellence in tele-mental health is part of the program, with NIMHANS serving as the nodal organization and the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIITB) providing technical assistance. The technical assistance would be given by the National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHRSC) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bengaluru.
- The country has established a toll-free, round-the-clock hotline number (14416) that enables callers to choose their preferred language before receiving assistance. The service help line is 1-800-91-4416. Calls would be forwarded to Tele-MANAS cells in the appropriate state and union territory.
Why The Pogramme Matters ?
During the launching time of Tele – MANAS the Indian government recognize that according to a survey report by the Indian Psychiatry Society around 40 percentage of Indians have been experiencing some form of mental health problems.
The Union Minister Gehot at the launching ceremony said that “The initial roll-out providing basic support and counselling through centralized Interactive Voice Response system (IVRS) is being customized for use across all states and UTs, they said. This will not only help in providing immediate mental healthcare services, but also facilitate continuum of care”.
The government also confess the “urgent need” to manifest a digital mental health network to address population health challenges spawned by the pandemic.
This mental health service programme was early announced in this year during the Union Budget 2022-23. The Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in an earlier statement said that the programme aims to transform access to mental healthcare by providing counselling and care using standard, evidence-based, culturally appropriate tools; enhancing access to quality, standardised, and free mental health services; and helping to connect with various mental health care services.