Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 24 March, 2023 has launched the “National Tele Mental Health Programme” to further improve access to quality mental health counselling and care services in the country. Realizing the impact that COVID-19 may have on the mental health of the people, the Government has taken a number of initiatives, including –
- Setting up of a 24/7 helpline to provide psychosocial support, by mental health professionals, to the entire affected population, divided into different target groups viz children, adult, elderly, women and healthcare workers.
- Issuance of guidelines/ advisories on management of mental health issues, catering to different segments of the society.
- Advocacy through various media platforms in the form of creative and audio-visual materials on managing stress and anxiety, and promoting an environment of support and care for all.
- Issuance and dissemination of detailed guidelines by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru- “Mental Health in the times of COVID-19 Pandemic – Guidance for General Medical and Specialized Mental Health Care Settings”.
- All the guidelines, advisories and advocacy material can be accessed on Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website under “Behavioural Health – Psychosocial helpline” (https://www.mohfw.gov.in/).
- Online capacity building of health workers by NIMHANS in providing psychosocial support and training through (iGOT)-Diksha platform.