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News : NIMHANS to Spearhead National Tele-counselling Programme

#contactcenterworld

Bengaluru, India, Feb 1, 2022 -- The National Instituteof Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) will spearhead a National Tele-Mental Health Programme across the country, the Union Budget announced. Another city institution - Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru (IIITB) - will provide technical support for the project.

With the COVID-19 pandemic accentuating mental health problems in people of all age groups, the programme aims to "better the access to quality mental health counselling and care services". The programme will include a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence, with NIMHANS being the nodal centre and IIITB providing technology support, the Budget speech said.

State Health Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar thanked the Union Government for giving the State the opportunity to spearhead the mental health programme of the country. "The pandemic has adversely impacted the mental health of many. Counselling and other mental health care is the need of the hour. This programme is very timely and will especially be of great help to the youth of the country," he said.

The precursor to the programme is a COVID-19 mental health helpline started at NIMHANS in March 2020, when the pandemic broke out in the country. An initiative by the Health Ministry, it offers counselling 24x7 in nine Indian languages. Dr. Sudhakar said the State has, since the outbreak of the pandemic, counselled 26.08 lakh individuals.

Responding to a question on the helpline in August 2021, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Bharathi Pravin Pawar said the helpline targeted different groups, namely, children, adults, the elderly and health care workers. Till July 2021, 13,451 health care workers had availed help, she had said.

NIMHANS had also issued detailed guidelines: "Mental Health in the times of COVID-19 Pandemic - Guidance for General Medical and Specialized Mental Health Care Settings", for all hospitals across the country.

#contactcenterworld

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.thehindu.com


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