Tele Manas counsels Kashmir’s distressed souls
Polity & Governance
5th May, 2023
Over the past six months, the Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS) in Srinagar has received 10,500 calls from people in distress across Jammu and Kashmir’s toll free numbers 14416 and 1800-891-4416.
- The Tele-MANAS cell at IMHANS was launched in November 2022 with the support of the National Health Mission, Jammu and Kashmir.
- It aims to provide mental health support, early screening, first-aid, distress management, mental well-being, suicide prevention, and psychological crisis management in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The center operates through a toll free-number—11416/1-800-891-4416.
- The crisis counsellors or the first-time responders are the first point of contact for callers at the 24*7 helpline
What is Tele-MANAS?
- It was launched on World Mental Health Day (10 October).
- The Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative is a comprehensive mental health care service.
- Tele-MANAS aims to provide free tele-mental health services all over the country round the clock, particularly catering to people in remote or under-served areas.
- The Tele-MANAS programme consists of a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence, with NIMHANS as the nodal centre.
- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bengaluru and National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHRSC) have been roped in for technical support.
- The Tele-MANAS service can be accessed by calling the helpline numbers 14416 and 1-800-891-4416.
India’s mental health crisis
- Lancet Report: As per a Lancet study published in 2012, India saw a 35 per cent rise in clinically significant depression and anxiety disorders due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
- 2021 State of the World’s Children Report: One in seven youths in India, between 15 to 24 years, reported ‘feeling depressed’ during the pandemic.
- NCRB Data: In another concerning report, there was an increase of 7.2 per cent in reported suicides in the country in 2021 as compared to the year before.
- Top causes of suicides: Family problems, illness, drug abuse/ alcoholic addiction, marriage-related issues, love affairs, unemployment, professional/career problem.
- Alarming shortage of human resources: The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that India has 0.3 psychiatrists, 0.12 nurses and 0.07 psychologists and 0.07 health workers for 1,00,000 population.
- Lack of investment to address the issue