February 4, 2022 6:36:25 pm
Taking into account the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the psychological and emotional health of citizens, the Union government has announced a ‘National Tele Mental Health’ programme in this year’s Budget. The programme will include 23 tele mental health centres with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) as the nodal centre, while IIIT Bangalore will provide technological support.
Nimhans on Friday informed that it aims to set up the T-MANAS (Tele-Mental Health Assistance and Nationally Actionable Plan through States) initiative as a 24×7 facility in all states and Union territories. Its vision is to provide immediate mental health interventions for people in mental distress, particularly those in remote and under-served areas of the country.
“Vision is also to link T-MANAS with existing in-person mental health services to provide a comprehensive continuum of care by networking with the nearest Centres of Excellence (COE)/medical colleges/district mental health programs/specialized services spread across the length and breadth of the country,” Nimhans stated.
Realising the effect of the pandemic on mental health, it has drawn up an innovative and contemporary strategy which will reach crores of Indians in a timely manner to alleviate their psychological and psychosocial distress. The mental health institute’s national helpline for psychosocial support received nearly 6 lakh calls during the pandemic.
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“This proposal will also connect primary healthcare delivery system including the primary health centres, health and wellness centres under Ayushman Bharat, provide linkages to both communicable and non-communicable disease programs (there is unaddressed mental morbidity in conditions like TB, HIV, cancer, diabetes etc). The involvement of state governments and COEs will also provide opportunities to make T-MANAS sustainable over time,” it said.
“T-MANAS will be linked to e-Sanjeevani and to 104 services to boost capacity. It can be effectively linked with the e-MANAS platform which monitors the administrative aspects of the Mental Health Care Act and can be expanded into developing a national database for mental health care delivery, a monitoring dashboard (and become a part of the National Digital Health Mission). It is also planned to engage in research to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness and reach of this service,” the statement read.
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