In order to provide universal access to equitable, affordable and accessible mental health care online, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. (Col.) Dhani Ram Shandil today launched 'Tele MANAS', a comprehensive mental health care services in the State today. He said that the state has set up round the clock Tele call centers in Public Private Participation (PPP) mode with counselors appointed to receive the calls from the patients and their attendants on the toll free number 14416 or 1800-891-4416.
Initially there will be eight counselors for online counseling which can be increased later as per the need. The Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (MANAS) was launched by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to cater to the people living in remote and under-served areas.
The Tele MANAS programme will be a two tier system. Tier-1 will be a State Tele MANAS Cell with trained counselors for online counseling. Tier-2 will be physical consultation with psychiatrist at medical college or District level Hospital where patient will go directly or after referral from call center.
Health Minister said that a grant of Rs. 1.06 crore has been provided by the Union government to start the services in the state. Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IBHAS) Delhi is assigned as regional coordination center for HP and will help in capacity building.
Besides, IGMCH Shimla will be the mentoring institute for this programme and will help in developing state specific protocols and guidelines. The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, and IIIT Bengaluru will provide the technical support. He said that the key focus would remain on adolescent age groups at school and college level as the younger generation takes extra stress for performing better in academics and at their work places.
Secretary, Health M.Sudha Devi, Mission Director, NHM Priyanka Verma, Director Health, Dr. Gopal Berry, HoD psychiatry, IGMC Dr. Dinesh Dutt Sharma, State Programme Officer Dr. Gopal Chauhan were present in person besides all the CMO's from the districts joined virtually.