TeleManas Goa, a helpline service for mental health, has achieved a significant milestone by receiving over 1,000 calls since its launch in October 2022. The service, which is part of the National Tele Mental Health Programme, aims to provide better access to quality mental health support.
The toll-free helpline number offered by TeleManas Goa allows individuals to seek counseling services and support. The objective is to make mental health services more accessible to the community. Health Minister Vishwajit Rane praised the achievement, stating that it demonstrates the importance of accessible mental health support and the positive impact of the Goa model.
The National Tele Mental Health Programme was introduced in the Union Budget 2022-23 and is operated by the Directorate of Health Services in collaboration with NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences). In Goa, the mentoring institute for the program is the Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour (IPHB) in Bambolim.
The helpline service can be accessed by dialing the toll-free number 14416 or 1800-891-4416, and callers have the option to choose their preferred language for the counseling services. The service is free and confidential, ensuring that individuals seeking support can feel comfortable and secure.
In addition to counseling, the TeleManas program offers integrated medical and psychological interventions. This includes video consultations with mental health specialists, e-prescriptions, follow-up services, and connections to in-person services. The program also aims to assist vulnerable communities and hard-to-reach populations, reducing the cost and effort for rural patients who no longer need to travel long distances for consultations and treatment.
To raise awareness about mental health, the health department in Goa has been conducting awareness programs in schools and higher secondary schools. They have also organized interactive sessions for parents, emphasizing the importance of mental health and providing information on available support services.
The achievements of TeleManas Goa highlight the positive impact of the National Tele Mental Health Programme in providing accessible mental health support. With the toll-free helpline and integrated services, individuals in need can receive the necessary assistance and care, promoting overall well-being and enhancing the quality of mental healthcare in the state.