Psychological support has become the most important one today, hence, to help the one in need the Centre on Monday introduced a 24X7 toll-free mental rehabilitation helpline.
The helpline named as ‘KIRAN’ (1800-599-0019) was launched by Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawar Chand Gehlot. The minister while speaking about the helpline elaborated how this mental health rehabilitation services have been initiated with the objective of early screening, first aid, psychological support, distress management, mental well being, promoting behaviour and psychological crises management.
The minister quoted,
The helpline will function as a lifeline to provide advice, counselling and reference in 13 languages to individuals, families, NGOs, parent associations, professional associations, rehabilitation institutes hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country.
Gehlot hoped that the helpline will be useful to everybody. He said,
I hope this helpline will also be very useful for family members of those with mental illness.
Prabodh Seth, Joint Secretary at Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, gave a presentation to highlight and explain the salient features of the newly launched helpline. He said,
This toll-free helpline will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the technical coordination of BSNL. It is backed by 660 clinical and rehabilitation psychologists and 668 psychiatrists.
The aide will be provided in 13 languages which include, Hindi, English, Marathi, Assamese, Tamil, Odia, Telegu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali, and, Urdu. The helpline toll-free number can be dialled from any part of India, informed Seth.
Joint secretary also briefed how the same will work. He said,
By giving a call on the toll-free number from any mobile phone or landline of any telecom network, from any part of India, one gets the option of selecting the language following which they get connected to the helpline centre of the native or desired state.
Once the call is connected, it will then be connected to mental health experts who will help to solve whatever the seeker is feeling or refer and connect to external help (clinical psychologists or rehabilitation psychologists or psychiatrists).
Anxiety, obsessive compulsion disorder, suicide, depression, panic attack(s) adjustment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders and substance abuse, are some mental health issues that will be put into the effort to resolve by the doctors and helpers. Seth mentioned,
The helpline will cater to people in distress, pandemic induced psychological issues and mental health emergency.
The helpline is launched in collaboration with the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD), Chennai and National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR), Sehore.
While the professional support for the helpline is arranged by the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists (IACP), Indian Psychiatrists Association (IPA) and Indian Psychiatric Social Workers Association (IPSWA), he concluded.