Bangalore: Mpower, a mental health initiative of the Aditya Birla Education Trust, has today signed an MOU with NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences) to support the implementation of Tele MANAS services across India. As part of the collaboration, Mpower will be responsible for setting up, operating, and managing all day-to-day affairs for Tele MANAS centres that are going to be initiated by Mpower. NIMHANS, on the other hand, will provide Mpower with access to the platform, operating guidelines, training and mentoring, monitoring and framework needed to operate the centers.
The MOU saw presence of Dr Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Mpower and Aditya Birla Education Trust, Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director and Senior Professor of Psychiatry at NIMHANS, Mr Aashish Sanghi, Trustee, Aditya Birla Education Trust along with Dr. Neha Garg Director (NHM-II) Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India.
Mpower will leverage its expertise in providing seamless, standardized, and world-class mental health services to beneficiaries of Tele MANAS. This collaboration aims to ensure the successful on-ground implementation of Tele MANAS services, as well as the accessibility and availability of trained experts and professional mental health counselling services to those in need.
Speaking on the collaboration Dr. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Mpower and Aditya Birla Education Trust said “Mpower is proud to partner with NIMHANS to provide support for Tele MANAS. I strongly believe that public-private partnerships, such as ours, which incorporate standardization, trained manpower, and technological support for government programs, can catalyze and transform systems and service delivery, ultimately achieving the goal of providing quality mental health services to all. We are honored to help roll out the government’s timely and much-needed Tele MANAS program.”
Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director and Senior Professor of Psychiatry at NIMHANS, remarked “It is amazing that today we gather to start the next stage of Tele MANAS with the signing of the MOU with Mpower to work on the on ground execution of Tele MANAS. There is no health without mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues among people of all ages. Now we are looking to see how we can expand Tele MANAS to the length and breadth of India. Our goal is to make sure that the Tele MANAS services are accessible to all and in this journey, we are happy to look at Public Private Partnerships with strong knowledge of the space. At Tele MANAS we offer counselling services in 20 regional languages. At Tele MANAS we have a framework and we look forward to Mpower expanding this programme in various states.”
Tele MANAS follows a two-tier model, with Tier 1 consisting of state Tele MANAS cells that employ trained counsellors and mental health specialists. Tier 2 has specialists available at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation. A toll-free, 24/7 number (14416) has been established across the country, allowing callers in need to select their preferred language and receive the necessary assistance. Through this MOU Mpower will support these offerings to ensure access to professional mental health services across the all of India.
Mpower is a revolutionary social enterprise that has brought about a paradigm shift in India’s attitude towards mental health by spreading awareness, alleviating stigma, and providing holistic mental health care. Mpower since its inception 6 years ago has built a strong force of over 140 trained mental health professionals providing multidisciplinary mental health services. With a presence in 7 cities including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Pune, and the Mpower Cells in Pilani, Goa, Kalyan, and Hyderabad, the Mpower Centres are fully functional, state of art set-up designed to provide patients and mental health professionals with a well-equipped, safe environment for counselling needs.
Clinical care services are provided through the Mpower Foundation in Mumbai, which works towards providing mental health services to the economically weaker section of society, offering mental health services to Rural India and Government run schools and colleges. Mpower also runs a successful Mpower let’s Talk 1on1 toll-free helpline 1800-120- 820050 that was launched during the first wave of covid in 2020 in partnership with the Maharashtra Government and has to date successfully addressed over 1 lakh queries so far.
The Toll-free number offers callers 24X7 multilingual free counselling services available through a call and chat facility. Through its Outreach and cell program, Mpower has conducted extensive and wide-ranging mental health awareness workshops and seminars for hundreds of schools, colleges, NGOs and corporates etc.
Mpower boasts a robust team of 140 trained mental health professionals who provide a range of multidisciplinary mental health services, including counselling, psychiatry, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and counselling across various segments and age groups with extensive experience in operating a mental health tele-helpline. Mpower’s pandemic response and initiatives to drive conversation on mental health and eliminate stigma associated:
- #SunoDekhoKaho: A nationwide campaign with Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan to create awareness for mental health and reduce the stigma associated with it.
- Mpower eClinic: A one-stop multidisciplinary mental health solution to bridge the mental healthcare gap in tier-2 cities of India and make it more accessible and affordable.
- Minds Matter Curriculum: A progressive mental health literacy curriculum for schools (grade 1 to 12) that views success in terms of behavioral changes and a gradual, demonstrated understanding of mental health and wellness among students.
- SAMVAD: An initiative to share scientific knowledge, impart clinical skills, and build the capacity of mental health professionals, Mpower Hub launched a certificate course SAMVAD (Sustainable Approach to Mental Health Via Actionable Skill Development).
- Support BMC-Corona Warriors: Mental-health counselling and structured therapy for the frontline heroes, such as the Mumbai Police, healthcare workers and their families.
- Project Saksham: A joint effort between Mumbai Police and Mpower to give mental health support to women who are victims of violence or rape, and to provide counselling to the perpetrators as well, in order to curb recidivism. It also imparts specialized training to police personnel to be the crucial first point of contact for victims.
- Project Samvedna: A collaboration between Mpower and the Government of Maharashtra to ensure the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare to people, especially in rural areas, and promote community participation in mental health services.
- Project Oorja: A collaborative project between Mpower and the BMC for mental health intervention in BMC schools across Mumbai to bring about an improvement in the mental wellbeing of students and integrate a mental health curriculum with the school education. – https://mpowerminds.com/.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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