Mental health care: Tele-MANAS launched at Vijayawada’s Siddhartha Medical College

In Vijayawada, Tele-MANAS will be available from 8 a.m–8 p.m at the medical college. People can call the toll-free 24x7 helpline number 14416/1800891114416.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  14 Jan 2023 5:15 AM GMT
Mental health care: Tele-MANAS launched at Vijayawada’s Siddhartha Medical College

Amaravati: Tele-MANAS (Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States) has been launched at Siddhartha Medical College, Vijayawada, in Andhra Pradesh.

This initiative was officially launched by the Union ministry of health and family welfare on World Mental Health Day in October 2022. Acknowledging the mental health crisis in the 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 Central government announced National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP) in the Union Budget 2022-23.

In Vijayawada, Tele-MANAS will be available from 8 a.m–8 p.m at the medical college. People can call the toll-free 24x7 helpline number 14416/1800891114416. This will provide basic support and counselling through a centralised Interactive Voice Response system (IVRS). This will not only help in providing immediate mental healthcare services but also facilitate a continuum of care.

What is Tele-MANAS?

Tele-MANAS aims to provide free 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) providing technology support. Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bengaluru and National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHRSC) will provide technical support. The Union government aims to open at least one Tele-MANAS cell in each state/UT.

Tele-MANAS will be organised in a two-tier system—Tier 1 comprises state Tele-MANAS cells, including trained counsellors and mental health specialists, while Tier 2 will comprise specialists at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation.

At present, there are five regional coordination centres along with 51 state/UT Tele-MANAS cells.

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