The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has issued an update on Mental Health Services in Primary Health Centres. The press release was issued on 17th March, 2023.
The press release enumerates the various ways the Government is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in the country. This is intended as a means to provide affordable and accessible mental healthcare facilities in the country.
The District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) component of the NMHP has been sanctioned for implementation in 716 districts for which support is provided to States/UTs through the National Health Mission. Facilities made available under DMHP at the Community Health Centre (CHC) and Primary Health Centre (PHC) levels, include outpatient services, assessment, counselling/ psycho-social interventions, continuing care and support to persons with severe mental disorders, drugs, outreach services, ambulance services etc. In addition to above services there is a provision of 10 bedded in-patient facility at the District level.
Besides the above, the Government has launched a “National Tele Mental Health Programme” on 10th October, 2022, to further improve access to quality mental health counselling and care services in the country. As on 09.03.2023, 25 States/ UTs have set up 36 Tele MANAS Cells and have started mental health services.
Moreover, under RKSK Mental Health is one of six key thematic areas identified for prioritization under the programme including sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, injuries and violence (including gender-based violence), non-communicable diseases, and substance misuse. Under the aegis of the School Health Programme under Ayushman Bharat, NCERT has developed a comprehensive package titled “Training and Resource Material: Health and Wellness of School-going Children”. A specific module has been included on “Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health”, which has activities related to the mental health and well-being of students and teachers.
In the educational arena too several initiatives have been undertaken to promote mental health. These have been elucidated in the press release.
Under the Tertiary care component of NMHP, 25 Centres of Excellence have been sanctioned to increase the intake of students in PG departments in mental health specialities as well as to provide tertiary level treatment facilities. Further, the Government has also supported 19 Government medical colleges/institutions to strengthen 47 PG Departments in mental health specialties.