Updated: March 17, 2021 4:54:57 am
THE MINISTRY of Women and Child Development (WCD) will soon introduce an intervention for “comprehensive psycho-social care for women facing violence” in collaboration with NIMHANS Bangalore, WCD Minister Smriti Irani announced on Tuesday.
The intervention will ensure certification by training of staff at one stop centres who can offer first-line psychosocial support to women and referrals to mental health services when required, “with adequate pathways to physical and mental health care’’, especially in cases of sexual abuse and domestic violence, Irani said.
Over the past year, the WCD Ministry has been working with NIMHANS under its Samvad programme in providing similar training and intervention for children – especially victims of child sexual abuse and children in conflict with law.
Dr Shekhar Sheshadri, professor Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, said 42,000 personnel under 316 training programmes in 28 states have been covered by Samvad so far. This includes providing master training programmes to Childline workers – the first responders in most cases of violence against children.
“There are four verticals that we have looked at. Child protection, which includes training staff at child care institutions, district child protection units, child helplines etc and all first responders and shelters. The second is in education where teachers and education boards in states have been trained. The mental health sector and in policy and law where we have trained judicial officers in how to handle children in conflict with law and child sexual abuse victims, including how to talk to them and handle their cases. We have also run programmes with the National Police Academy and will be starting tele-counselling soon,” he said.
Irani said her ministry will now be expanding the scheme to cover all 112 aspirational districts, which are some of the most vulnerable districts in the country. “We will also be taking this training programme down to the panchayat level for the first time. Discussions on child mental health and other issues related to child and adolescent rights were never even discussed at the panchayat level before,” she said.
“Now the village councils will be made aware of these issues, and will also be trained to identify children in need of help and how to deal with them. This will provide timely intervention for children, such as those who may be contemplating suicide… The biggest issue with rural areas, unlike urban centres, is that there is simply no knowledge of or access to help right now,” said Irani.
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