24×7 Tele-mental Health Service ‘Tele-MANAS’ Launched In 20 States, UTs

On World Mental Health Day, Dr. K. Sudhakar, Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Governor of Karnataka, and others launched the Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare virtually at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru. In the Union Budget for 2022–2023, the Indian government launched the National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP). Tele-MANAS seeks 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.

A network of 23 centres for excellence in tele-mental health is part of the programme, with NIMHANS serving as the nodal organisation 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. Each State/UT will receive at least one Tele-MANAS Cell, according to the Union Government. 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 hotline number Is 1-800-91-4416. Calls would be forwarded to Tele-MANAS cells in the appropriate state and union territory. There will be two levels of organisation for Tele-MANAS; Tier 1 consists of state Tele-MANAS cells with qualified counsellors and mental health professionals. Specialists from the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources and/or e-Sanjeevani will make up Tier 2 for physical and/or audiovisual consultation.

51 State/UT Tele MANAS cells and 5 regional coordination centres are currently available. All States and UTs are using a customised version of the original rollout, which offers fundamental support and counselling through a centralised Interactive Voice Response system (IVRS). This will aid in the continuity of care as well as the provision of acute mental healthcare assistance. By connecting Tele-MANAS with other services like the National Tele-Consultation Service, e-Sanjeevani, the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, mental health professionals, Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centres, and emergency psychiatric facilities, the programme is intended to provide specialised care.

This will eventually incorporate all systems that offer mental health treatment and cover the whole spectrum of mental health and illness. Nine hundred Tele MANAS counsellors from the majority of States and UTs have received training from NIMHANS. The mentoring institutes are as follows: 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. States/UTs launching Tele Mental Health Programme today include 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.

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