World Mental Health Day: Karnataka Governor virtually launches Tele-MANAS at NIMHANS – The Indian Express

Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot on Monday virtually launched the Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on World Mental Health Day (October 10). The programme was launched at the 26th convocation ceremony of graduates at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru.
Acknowledging the mental health crisis in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and an urgent need to establish a digital mental health network that will withstand the challenges amplified by the pandemic, the Union government had announced the National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP) in the Union Budget 2022-23. Under the programme, 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 programme includes a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence, with NIMHANS being the nodal centre, and the International Institute of Information Technology-Bangalore (IIITB) and National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC) will provide the technical support. The Union government aims to open at least one Tele-MANAS Cell in each state and Union territory.
“A toll-free, 24×7 helpline number (14416) has been set up across the country allowing callers to select the language of choice for availing services. The calls would be routed to Tele-MANAS cells in the respective state and Union territory,” a statement from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
“Tele-MANAS will be organised in two tier systems; Tier 1 comprises State Tele-MANAS cells which include trained counsellors and mental health specialists. Tier 2 will comprise specialists at the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation. Specialised care is being envisioned through the programme by linking Tele-MANAS with other services like National tele-consultation service, e-Sanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, mental health professionals, Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centres and emergency psychiatric facilities. NIMHANS has conducted training for 900 Tele MANAS counsellors from the majority of states/UTs,” the statement further said.
At the convocation ceremony, 347 students received various degrees and certificates on successful completion of their academic programmes at NIMHANS.
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