Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

TELE-MANAS, the mental health helpline, receives one lakh calls since its launch October

April 25, 2023
TELE-MANAS mental health

In a significant achievement towards providing quality mental healthcare for all across the country, Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) helpline of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has reached a milestone by receiving over 100,000 calls since its launch in October 2022.

The National Tele Mental Health Programme of India was inaugurated on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2022. Since its inception, the service has aimed to create a digital mental health ecosystem that has provided a boost to the existing mental healthcare services. An urgent need was felt for a digital mental health network in the wake of COVID and Tele-MANAS aimed to provide the same by giving access to the mental healthcare services 24X7 to even in the remotest part of the country. These services are available for all individuals free-of-cost through a toll-free numbers: 14416/1800-89-14416.

The nation-wide service, an initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India successfully completed its first 6 months of functioning, with currently over 38 functional Tele MANAS Cells spread across 27 States and UTs, providing mental health services in over 20 languages and over 1600 trained counsellors running the first-line services. Most of the calls received at Tele MANAS thus far, are from callers calling regarding sadness of mood, stress related calls, exam related anxiety, domestic disturbances and calls regarding sleep disturbances.

Tele MANAS initiative which was announced by Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in the Union budget 2022-23 as an acknowledgement to the mental health crisis in the country, is a novel initiative to enable people to seek support for their mental health issues while maintaining anonymity of the callers, thereby reducing the stigma generally surrounding mental health issues.

The National Tele Mental Health Programme of India focusses on building the mental health workforce of the nation through capacity building initiatives whilst simultaneously ensuring that mental health services can reach free of cost to every household and every individual, targeting the most vulnerable and unreached sections of society that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. With Tele MANAS reaching the 1 lakh mark in 6 months, it turns a new leaf in achieving its ultimate aim of building a robust digital mental health network throughout India.