India crosses a significant milestone for The National Tele Mental Health Programme of India: Over 200,000 calls received on the Tele-MANAS Helpline since its launch in October 2022
The National Tele Mental Health Programme, Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele MANAS), the digital arm of the 'District Mental Health Programme, was launched by the Government of India in October 2022 to strengthen mental health service delivery in the country, has reached a significant milestone. Since its inception, the toll-free service has received over 2,00,000 calls from across the country, demonstrating a constant upward trend.
The number of calls received has increased exponentially in just three months, from 1 lakh in April 2023 to 2 lakh. With 42 operational Tele MANAS cells in 31 states and territories, the service presently handles more than 1,300 calls per day in 20 languages.
Over 1900 counsellors have been trained, and they are in charge of the front-line services. The most common complaints are sadness of mood, sleep trouble, tension, and anxiety. Approximately 7000 calls were followed by callbacks from counsellors, who were successful in closing the loop of care. Callers who require specialised care are successfully referred to relevant services such as District Mental Health Program (DMHP) and other nearby healthcare facilities.
The Tele MANAS initiative, announced by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the Union budget 2022-23 as an acknowledgement of the country's mental health crisis, is a novel initiative that allows people to seek support for their mental health issues while maintaining the anonymity of the callers, thereby reducing the stigma generally surrounding mental health issues.
Tele MANAS has turned a new leaf in its pursuit of its goal of developing a solid digital mental health network across India, by reaching the 1 lakh milestone in just six months.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.