Tele-MANAS launched at State Mental Health Institute, Kohima

Kohima: Toll-free, 24/7 helpline number (14416) connects callers with mental health professionals

BY | Tuesday, 29 August, 2023

Tele-Mental Health and Neuro Science (Tele-MANAS) was launched at the State Mental Health Institute in Kohima by Mission Director, National Health Mission (NHM), Nagaland Dr Ritu Thurr on Tuesday in a significant stride towards bolstering mental health support, DIPR informed.

Dr Thurr highlighted the comprehensive nature of mental health, encompassing emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Mental health extends to thinking patterns, emotions, behavior, stress management, relationships, and decision-making.

Tele-MANAS pursues several key objectives:

* Tele-MANAS strives to bridge the gap between mental health services and those in need by offering remote access to mental health professionals.

* Through technology-driven mental health services, Tele-MANAS aims to minimize the stigma attached to seeking mental health support.

* The initiative facilitates early identification of mental health issues, enabling timely intervention and care.

Dr Thurr expressed optimism that the program, with its existing resources and strategic implementation, would foster improvements in mental health while challenging societal stigmas. The initiative’s launch aligns with advancing research and innovation within the mental health domain.

Dr Nuvotso Khesoh, Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at State Mental Health Institute, emphasized the ubiquity of mental health challenges and underscored mental illness as a leading contributor to ill health and disability worldwide. Depression and anxiety were notably highlighted in the global burden of disease rankings. Dr Khesoh outlined the far-reaching economic consequences of mental health issues and stressed the urgency of accessible, affordable, and convenient care. He noted that tele mental health services fill this crucial gap by offering quality care to remote areas.

Suyimtenla Jamir, Deputy Director of the National Mental Health Program, elucidated the success of Tele-MANAS nationally. She reported over 200,000 calls received on the toll-free helpline since its launch in October 2022, highlighting strong participation from women. However, male participation indicated an outreach opportunity. She identified prevalent mental health challenges in Nagaland, such as exam stress, addiction, unemployment, and lack of family support.

As the initiative expands, it integrates with eSanjeevani, a user-friendly platform facilitating video consultations, fostering inclusivity and compassion in mental health care. Dr Rupert Peseyie emphasized the holistic approach of Tele-MANAS, adapting to local contexts and resources. The initiative sets up tele-counseling centers, equipping them with video conferencing capabilities to connect mental health professionals with individuals seeking support. Helpline services provide immediate assistance and emotional support.

Tele-MANAS marks a remarkable step towards a comprehensive mental health care network, driven by technology, accessibility, and empathy, as it strives to reach individuals across Nagaland’s diverse districts.

The toll-free, 24/7 helpline number (14416) has been set up across the country allowing callers to select the language of choice for availing services. Service is also accessible with 1-800-91-4416.

Read more: Centre launches 24×7 Tele Mental health Assistance initiative on World Mental health Day

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