( Dr Shandil launching Tele MANAS)

Himachal Pradesh health department has launched a comprehensive mental health care service to provide universal online access to equitable, affordable and accessible mental health care.

Launching the online service named as ‘Tele MANAS’ at Shimla on Thursday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Dhani Ram Shandil said, “The service would be available round the clock through Tele Call Centers in public private participation mode, the persons or attendants seeking counseling can call the counselors appointed by the state government on toll free number 14416 or 1800-891-4416”.

He said, “The focus of the programme would be on adolescents in schools and colleges, especially those taking stress during their studies for excellence.”

 The minister said, “The Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (MANAS) has been started by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for people living in remote and underserved areas; this will have two tier system, under Tier 1 Tele MANAS Cell with trained counselors for online counseling would be available at state level and under Tier 2 physical consultation with psychiatrist in medical colleges or district level hospitals would be provided,” he added.  

The Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) Delhi has been assigned as a regional coordination center for  capacity building in the state and IGMC hospital Shimla will be a mentoring institute to  develop state specific protocols and guidelines. The technical support for the programme would be provided by The National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences and IIIT Bengaluru.

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