2 lakh people are counselled via Tele-MANAS

Since its inception in October 2022, the government-run national tele-mental health service, Tele MANAS, has received over 2,00,000 calls from individuals across India.

What exactly is Tele-MANAS?

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare established the Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative in October 2022.
  • It intends to provide free tele-mental health treatments around the clock throughout the country, with a focus on persons living in distant or underserved locations.

Implementation of the plan

  • Counselling: The plan includes a network of 38 tele-mental health excellence centres located throughout 27 states and UTs that function in more than 20 languages.
  • Helpline: A toll-free, 24-hour helpline number (14416) has been established across the country, allowing callers to select their preferred language when requesting services. Service is also available by calling 1-800-91-4416.

Two-tier working

  • Working Tele-MANAS will be organised in a two-tier system, with Tier 1 consisting of state Tele-MANAS cells staffed by professional counsellors and mental health specialists.
  • Tier 2 specialists will be drawn from the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation.

Concerns and Demographics

  • Age Group: Two-thirds of callers are between the ages of 18 and 45, while 12.5% are between the ages of 46 and 64, and 8% are under the age of 18.
  • Gender Distribution: Male callers made 59.6% of the two lakh calls, while female callers made 40%.
  • Primary Concerns: General emotions of depression (28.8%), sleep-related problems (27.6%), anxiety (20.4%), relationship issues (10%), aggression (9.2%), and lack of interest in activities (9.7%) were the most common reasons for seeking help.

Expansion of the plan

  • The initial implementation is being customised for use throughout all States and UTs, providing basic support and counselling through a centralised Interactive Voice Response system (IVRS).
  • For specialised care, it is linked with other services like as National teleconsultation, e-Sanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat, mental health specialists, health centres, and emergency psychiatric facilities.
  • This will not only aid in the provision of acute mental healthcare treatments, but will also help to facilitate a continuum of care.
  • This will eventually embrace the complete spectrum of mental wellness and sickness, as well as the integration of all systems that provide mental health care.
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