New Delhi, Oct 10: Jammu & Kashmir achieved top rank in the Union Territories category by achieving the highest number of calls in the National Tele Mental Health Programme.
Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department, Bhupinder Kumar and his team received the award at Mental Health Conclave on Mental Health Day, 2023 at New Delhi.
The award was presented by Dr V K Paul, member NITI AYOG in presence of Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya who joined virtually.
Other dignitaries present during the event included Rajesh Aggarwal, Union Secretary, Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disability, Sanjay Kumar, Union Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Dr. Bharat Lal, Secretary General, National Human Rights Commission of India, Dr B N Gangadhar, Chairman NMC ,Lt Gen Daljit Singh, DG AFMS, Dr. Roderico H Ofrin, WHO Representative to India ,Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chairperson, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and Former Chief Scientist, WHO, Dr Prathima Murthi Director NIMHANS, LS Changsan AS&MD MOHFW GOI ,Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director, NIMHANS, Prof (Dr.) R.K Dhamija, Director IHBAS.
Pertinently, the National Tele Mental Health Programme of India, envisages to work as a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive 24X7 tele-mental health facility in each State and UT in India with the aim to provide universal access to equitable, accessible, affordable and quality mental health care through 24X7 tele-mental health counselling services.
Bhupinder Kumar, while giving details regarding the programme, informed that since its launch on 4th November, 2022, the centre has received 26477 calls.
Major reasons for calling included anxiety 2854 calls, sadness of mood 2790 calls, palpitations 2428 calls, reduced interest 1931 calls, stress 1869 calls, sleep disturbances 1601 calls, suicidal ideation/attempt 799 calls. Also, there have been calls related to substance use and addiction. The Toll Free number for Tele Manas helpline is 14416/1-800-891-4416.
He also informed that NHM J&K conceptualized the first of its kind Chatbot for Tele- MANAS in the country to improve the accessibility to Mental Health Services. Tele MANAS CHATBOT was launched in J&K on 5th July 2023 by the LG, UT of J&K. The objective of his concept was to reach out to the youth of the UT. The Whatsapp number 9797600601 can be assessed and two away Chat can be initiated with the Mental health Councilor. As the youth of today is more tech savvy and prone to chatting, the chatbot was developed so that anyone can consult the counselors using this chat bot.
Secretary, Health also gave detailed Power Point Presentation about other new initiatives being taken by the department Of Health and Medical Education Jammu and Kashmir for improving mental health across the UT of J&K which included increase in the number of seats for both MD/DNB Courses in Psychiatry, Capacity Building of both Doctors and supportive Staff and start of Diploma Course for Medical Officers with the support of NIMHANS Bengaluru.
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