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News : ‘Tele-MANAS’ Steps In at Early Stage of Mental Health Issues


Mumbai, India, Jan 24, 2023 -- With stress levels on the rise everywhere, a large number of people get embroiled in a vicious cycle of overthinking, anxiety and insomnia, all conditions that exacerbate one another. The Maharashtra government’s toll-free mental health helpline ‘Tele-MANAS’ has got over 800 calls asking for help with these conditions ever since it was launched in November 2022.

Part of the National Mental Health Programme, Tele-MANAS helpline centres are located at Pune, Thane and Ambejogai. Each centre has 20 counsellors manning telephone lines through the day.

So far, the helpline number 14416 has received over 3,450 calls, of which 220 were followed up with a subsequent call after a positive experience. While most calls are from people who want to talk about their problems, some are emergencies where the caller is on the verge of self-harming behaviour. The centres get 30 to 40 calls daily on an average, sometimes more; the highest number in a single day was 120 calls in the week preceding New Year’s Eve.

Dr Swapnil Lale, additional director (mental health) of the state directorate of health services, said that the government was aiming to reach out to at least seven percent of the state’s population, which is one crore people. "The most common problems that callers complain about are lack of sleep, loneliness, general sadness, stress and anxiety," he said.

Psychiatrist Dr Prachi Chivate, who is in charge of the Thane centre—run on the premises of the Thane Mental Hospital—said that medical intervention at the stage of a disturbed sleep pattern was akin to diagnosing cancer at Stage 1. "An irregular sleep pattern, whether too little or too much sleep, is the first sign of severe mental health issues, including depression," she observed. "Sleep helps restore the levels of happy hormones like dopamine and endorphins in the body."

Dr Chivate also pointed out that mental health issues often manifest in the form of physical ailments known as psychosomatic diseases. "There are so many cases where people have gastric problems for which doctors can’t find any underlying reason," she said. "As a last resort, such patients are sent to us and we find that some mental health issue like anxiety is the cause of the disease."

When counsellors at the centres get an emergency situation, they first try to discourage the caller from doing anything untoward. They then encourage them to go to the nearest government hospital, where the doctors are also informed about the case details. Ten beds have been reserved for patients suffering from psychiatric diseases in every district hospital.

"Mental health issues, especially insomnia, have an adverse effect on the productivity of the person as well," said Dr Lale. "If we can intervene through counselling, diet, exercise or even medication, we can also increase the productivity of the person which, in turn, can help boost their confidence and stop them from overthinking." He added that overthinking about future problems is part of another vicious cycle that is both the cause and effect of anxiety and depression among many people.

Intervention is also available at the primary health centres in the state, 1491 of which now have Manashakti Kendras to provide help to helpline callers. By March, the remaining 400 or so primary health centres will also have the necessary human resources.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Customers Wary Of Fraud Calls

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

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2023 Buyers Guide Automation

1.) Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.


EVA Voice Biometrics
Powered by Auraya's patented ArmorVox engine, EVA is a voice biometric extension that provides secure and seamless identification & verification capabilities for Amazon Connect. EVA provides delightful customer experience by removing the friction of providing PINs, passwords or secret information in order to prove caller identity. EVA comes standard with active and passive modes and a simple yet powerful agent interface. This allows for personalised self-service and a more friendly and efficient experience when interacting with an agent.

Outdated security methods such as PINs, passwords and security questions have become insecure and unreliable. Forgetting passwords and security answers o...
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Call Adapt

Soundboard Software
Call Adapt is a cloud-based digital soundboard application designed for contact centers. It works with any type of call and integrates with your existing dialer system. Powered by smart audio technology, Call Adapt gives your agents the ability to converse with customers in real time using programmed keyboard shortcuts. The result is perfect pitch delivery and less time spent on repetitive tasks.


Cognigy is a global leader in Conversational AI Automation. Its platform, Cognigy.AI, enables enterprises to automate customer and employee communications using intelligent voice and chatbots

Consilium Software

Consilium UniCloud™
UniCloud™ is an intuitive platform that allows Enterprises to deploy and manage their Unified Communication (UC) and Contact Center (CC) services with ease and entire provisioning can be completed in seconds using this comprehensive tool supporting digital transformation. The latest release 7.0 of UniCloud™ is a multi-tenant platform that transforms the delivery, management, and integration of collaboration and contact center solutions, for both Cloud and On-Premise deployment models.
With its single-pane-of-glass views and quick provisioning tool, UniCloud™ is instrumental in reducing the time to provision an entire multi-cluster Cisco collaboration platform, including contact centers (C...
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eGain Corporation

eGain Solve
Proven, Easy, and Guided Journey to Automate Customer Engagement in a Digital+AI World


Automated Language Testing
Emmersion offers automated assessments to quickly and accurately test speaking, writing, and grammar fluency in 9 languages and counting. We help contact centers improve CSAT scores by screening for top talent and retaining top performers.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
*Detailed “End to End’ Audit Trail and Perfor...
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