The National Workshop on Mental Health inaugurated by a member of NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog

Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, officially opened the two-day National Workshop on Mental Health. The session is intended to bring together TeleMANAS mentoring institutes and senior officers from every state, which is a big step in the right direction towards tackling the country’s mental health issues. Additionally present was Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Dr. Paul made the announcement about the combination of TeleMANAS and the KIRAN Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline at this time. Since its founding in September 2020 in collaboration with Tele-Manas, the National Tele Mental Health Helpline, the KIRAN Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline has assisted over 1,27,390 calls. After being introduced by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare on October 10, 2022, World Mental Health Day, Tele-Manas has processed 6,75,000 calls and has seen an exponential increase in the number of assistance seekers.

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The two companies are merging with the goal of streamlining operations, improving the caliber of services, and meeting the growing need for mental health services in India. This will be accomplished through creating a smooth transition and raising public knowledge of the merger procedure. Calls from KIRAN will be routed to TeleMANAS for the next three months, after which the original hotline will be gradually discontinued.

KIRAN Helpline and TeleMANAS Integration for Streamlined Mental Health Support

Dr. Paul expressed his excitement at the combination of KIRAN Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline and TeleMANAS, stating that “it will reduce the burden and help in reaching the concerned persons with ease..”

During the two-day workshop, which brought all the stakeholders together on one platform, Dr. V K Paul, speaking at the event, reaffirmed India’s commitment to the cause of mental health. He told us he was sure the workshop will produce the greatest ideas and insights from people from all walks of life and aid in the creation of a strong healthcare system for the nation’s mental health problems.

With praise for the medical community, particularly the front-line staff, he stated, “This workshop will be helpful in finding ways in redressing the mental health related issues through network of well-developed primary healthcare centers, the Ayushman Aarogya Mandir across the nation.” According to him, “Ayushman Arogya Mandir’s strong system can play a crucial role and will be helpful in reaching all across the nation.”

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In an effort to make India a healthy country, he also called on everyone to unite around mental health issues through a “Jan Andolan.” “To win this cause, everyone must be on board—the government, the community, NGOs, individuals, etc.,” he declared.

Essential Manuals for Mental Health Professionals

A child’s mental health concerns may be resolved by “innovative ways including special education and proper care with treatment,” according to Dr. Rajesh Aggarwal, Secretary of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. Additionally, he conveyed his appreciation to the Union Health Ministry for the prompt integration of TeleMANAS and KIRAN Helpline.

Three publications were produced on this occasion: the Training Manual for Application of Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 for Legal Aid Providers; the Caregivers and Reference Manual; and the Mental Healthcare Professionals of the Central Mental Health Authority Manual. The purpose of these manuals is to explain the complicated aspects of the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 and to act as an essential resource. These handbooks, which are designed with legal aid providers, mental health professionals, and caregivers in mind, provide thorough direction on navigating India’s legal system for mental health services.

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Policy reviews, mindfulness exercises, the integration of mental health in both primary and secondary healthcare, global leading-edge models, improving mental health literacy, the challenges and future direction of TeleMANAS, and the functions of Mentoring Institutes are just a few of the topics that will be covered during the two days of intensive workshops. The workshop will offer a forum for exchanging thoughts, experiences, and best practices in mental health care through panel discussions facilitated by professionals from the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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