Tele-MANAS cell at IMHANS receives 25,000 distress calls in a year

Srinagar: The Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) cell at Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences Srinagar (IMHANS) has received over 25000 distress calls from across Jammu and Kashmir since its launch on November 4, 2022.

As per the official records, the cell has received a total of 25140 calls till date, with the majority of calls being user-initiated (22338).

The calls were related to sadness, anxiety, stress-related issues, suicidal ideation or attempts, reduced interest in pursuing activities, palpitation-related, sleep disturbances, hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and guilt.

Besides that, many calls were related to relationships and family conflict, aggression and risk of harm to others, fatigue, psychological issues, self-harm attempt, and exam-related issues.

As per the records, Srinagar emerges as a significant hub for mental health support, with 3,805 calls received since 2022.

The Tele-Manas cell received 791 calls from Shopian, 699 calls from Anantnag, 675 calls from Baramulla, 500 calls from Pulwama, 491 from Budgam, 333 calls from Jammu, 233 calls from Kulgam, 299 calls from Ganderbal, 222 calls from Bandipora, 194 calls from Kupwara, 52 calls from Doda, 51 calls from Poonch, 31 calls from Samba, 21 calls from Leh, 15 calls from Kargil, 12 calls from Kishtwar, 11 calls from Rajouri, 11 calls from Ramban, 10 calls from Kathua and 9 calls from Pathankot.

Dr Deeba senior consultant at Tele-MANAS services at IMHANS told Greater Kashmir that Tele-MANAS cell ranks among the first three best performing centres across India.

“We strive to improve and reach every household. People feel very comfortable calling from their homes. They feel very safe calling anytime , besides , Tele-MANAS has broken the barrier of stigma and shame generally associated with seeking mental health help,” she said.

Dr Ubaid, another consultant, said that the focus of the Tele-MANAS services is to reach distant households to provide mental health services.

“So the availability of mobile phones in distant places bridges the gaps in mental health delivery,” he added.

Tele-MANAS, a 24×7 online telepsychiatry model, has made a profound impact by making counsellors and psychiatrists available round the clock. People in need can simply dial 14416 to access immediate assistance and guidance.

To bridge the gap in Mental Health and address need, the Government of India has launched the National Tele-Mental Health Program (NTMHP), which besides many other activities included setting up a network of 23 tele-mental health centres of excellence.

IMHANS Tele Manas centre is one of the centres of excellence chosen for purpose. It provides free round the clock tele mental health services via Tele-Mental Health Assistance and Nationally Actionable Plan through States (Tele-MANAS). Tele Manas centre at IMHANS is currently the best model centres in the country along with Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu according to the Data and Ranking maintained at IIT Bangalore.

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