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Govt's Tele-MANAS Records Over 2 Lakh Distress Calls Since Its Launch Last Year

Written by : Jayati Dubey

August 4, 2023

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Accessible via toll-free helpline numbers: 14416 or 1-800-891-4416, Tele MANAS offers multi-language provision, allowing callers to choose their preferred language for availing the services.

The Indian government's national mental health helpline, Tele-MANAS, has received over 2 lakh distress calls from across the country since its inception in October last year. The toll-free service was initiated by the Union Health Ministry to bolster mental health service delivery in India.

The helpline has witnessed an exponential rise in calls, reaching two lakhs from one lakh within just three months, as reported by the ministry. Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, took to Twitter to congratulate the nation on this feat.

With 42 functioning Tele Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System (MANAS) cells spread across 31 states and Union Territories, the service currently handles more than 1,300 calls per day in 20 languages.

Over 1,900 trained counsellors operate the first line services, addressing common concerns such as mood sadness, sleep disturbances, stress, and anxiety. The helpline has successfully followed up with around 7,000 calls through call-backs, ensuring a loop of care. Callers requiring specialised care are connected to appropriate services, including the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) and nearby healthcare facilities.

Interestingly, during exam seasons, there was a notable increase in calls related to exam stress. The counsellors provided supportive counselling and self-help strategies to help these callers perform well in their exams. Efforts are also being made to reach more students and adolescents in educational institutes.

Accessible via toll-free helpline numbers: 14416 or 1-800-891-4416, Tele MANAS offers multi-language provision, allowing callers to choose their preferred language for availing the services. Tele MANAS will continue to provide basic counselling and mental health services while integrating with e-Sanjeevani to link callers to existing vital services and resources.

This initiative was announced by the Union Ministry of Health in the Union budget 2022-23, acknowledging the mental health crisis in the country. It aims to allow people to seek support for their mental health issues while maintaining caller anonymity, thereby reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.

Tele-MANAS is just one among the series of notable healthcare initiatives undertaken by the Indian government in recent times. The government has been actively focusing on bolstering the healthcare sector to ensure the welfare of its citizens.

The Indian government has introduced various digital health schemes to leverage technology for improved healthcare access and services. Initiatives including the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) aim to create a unified health record system for citizens. Additionally, Tele-Medicine services, eSanjeevani, and other digital platforms enhance remote healthcare delivery and consultations, benefiting millions.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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