Tele-MANAS counsels people in distress

Over the last 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.


  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched 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.
  • 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.

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 being linked with other services such 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 health assistance, but will also facilitate the 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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