The Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Ms. Smriti Zubin Irani launched the 2nd phase of the SAMVAD programme in Bengaluru and commemorated the successful completion of one year of SAMVAD – Support, Advocacy & Mental health interventions for children in Vulnerable circumstances And Distress. The SAMVAD is a national initiative and integrated resource that works in child protection, mental health and psychosocial care.
Addressed the gathering, the Union WCD Minister Ms. Smriti Zubin Irani acknowledged SAMVAD’s efforts in providing coping mechanisms for children in distress by training close to 1 lakh stakeholders comprising of child protection functionaries, tele-counsellors, educators, law professionals among others. She said that “for the first time in independent India, SAMVAD will engage with functionaries in panchayats thereby ushering in a silent revolution in addressing psychosocial challenges amongst vulnerable children”. The SAMVAD is slated to begin work with Panchayati Raj systems to integrate child protection and mental health in aspirational districts across the country to facilitate awareness generation and improve service delivery at the grass-root level.
Secretary, Ministry of WCD, Dr. Indevar Pandey, during his opening remarks highlighted the importance of integration of child protection and mental health at a policy level. SAMVAD’s new initiatives with regards to mental health and psychosocial care of children in difficult circumstances encompass a specialized training curriculum on childhood trauma, interventions for children in conflict with the law, forensics in child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health, education and mental health support to children with special needs, protection and care in the context of adoption and foster care and integration of child protection and mental health in the Panchayati Raj systems.