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Country Needs A ‘Jan Andolan’ To Sensitise People On Mental Health Issues: NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Paul

“I appeal to everyone to come together on the mental health issues in the form of a ‘Jan Andolan’ in the interest of making India a healthy nation,” said NITI Aayog Member VK Paul

Country Needs A 'Jan Andolan' To Sensitise People On Mental Health Issues: NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Paul
NITI Aayog Member Dr VK Paul announced the merger of the KIRAN Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline with TeleMANAS

New Delhi: In a significant stride towards bolstering mental health infrastructure in India, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog, inaugurated a pivotal two-day National Workshop on Mental Health on Thursday (February 15), which aims to bring together senior officers from all states, along with mentoring institutes for TeleMANAS, to address the issue in the country. Dr Paul also announced the merger of the KIRAN Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline with TeleMANAS.

According to the Ministry of Health, KIRAN Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline has served over 1,27,390 callers since its establishment in September 2020 with Tele-Manas, the National Tele Mental Health Helpline.

Also Read: 42 Per Cent Of Physicians In Goa Show Symptoms Of Depression And Anxiety: Study

Tele-Manas, launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2022, has witnessed an exponential rise in service seekers and has since handled 6,75,000 calls, the government said.

The Health Ministry said,

The merger between the two aims to optimize resources, enhance service quality, and address the increasing demand for mental health support in India by fostering a seamless transition and extensive public awareness about the merger process.

For the next three months, calls from KIRAN will be diverted to TeleMANAS and eventually, the first helpline will be phased out.

Speaking at the event, Dr Paul said that the country needs a ‘Jan Andolan’ with government, NGOs, and the general public alike coming forward to sensitise people on mental health issues. He said,

I appeal to everyone to come together on the mental health issues in the form of a ‘Jan Andolan’ in the interest of making India a healthy nation. Everyone needs to be on board for the cause be it Government, Community, NGO, Individuals etc. then this cause can be won.

Dr Paul further said that the workshop will help find ways to redress mental health-related issues through a network of well-developed primary healthcare centres, the Ayushman Aarogya Mandir across the nation. He added,

The robust system of Ayushman Arogya Mandir can play a crucial role and will be helpful in reaching to all across the nation.

Also Read: Mental Health Crisis Emphasises Access Issues: Study

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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