Union Government launches Tele-MANAS to provide free 24×7 mental health services

2 November 2022
Nikitha Warriar Written by Nikitha Warriar
Nikitha Warriar

Nikitha Warriar

Nikitha Warriar writes a lot on healthcare and wellness. She is also one of LifeWordsmith’s...

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The Indian Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare launched ‘Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States’ (Tele-MANAS) on the occasion of World Mental Health Day on October 10th, 2022. This gives free 24×7 access to mental health services through toll-free numbers.

The National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP) was first announced in the 2022-23 Union Budget to acknowledge the mental health crisis amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic urging the government to develop a digital mental health network to resolve it. 

Currently, there are 5 regional coordinating centers, 23 mentoring institutions, and 51 Tele-MANAS cells across States and Union Territories. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, which trained 900 Tele-MANAS counselors, is the primary center. 

Source: Press Release

The initiative will be implemented in a two-tier system. Callers dialing the helpline number will be connected to an IVRS-based system where they can choose the language of their choice to avail of the services. They will then be directed to Tele-MANAS cells in their respective State or Union Territory. 

If the trained counselors in tier 1 think the person requires specialized care, their calls will be forwarded to mental health specialists like clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and so on. 

If they think the person requires in-person care, they will be sent to tier 2 specialists who will provide physical consultation at health and wellness centers, mentoring institutions, etc. Tier 2 also has e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation.

The Tele-MANAS service can be accessed by calling the following helpline numbers  – 14416 or 1-800-91-4416

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