Citing the prevalence of mental health issues and the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 crisis, the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has said it will on Thursday launch a toll-free helpline to enable access to mental health resources.
The “Kiran” mental health rehabilitation helpline number, 1800-599-0019, will provide callers “support for early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental well-being, preventing deviant behaviours, psychological crisis management etc.,” a Ministry statement said. The helpline will offer services in 13 languages, it said.
“It targets to resolve issues of people across the country experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, panic attack, adjustment disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, pandemic-induced psychological issues and mental health emergency,” the statement said.
The Ministry said there was a need for emergency help and support to those going through mental health issues, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With 660 volunteer clinical/rehabilitation psychologists and 668 volunteer psychiatrists, the helpline will be run from 25 centres by 75 experts who can handle 300 callers per hour, the statement said.
“There is a three-level mechanism of support — the caller will first be connected to the location-based helpline centre, and then as per need referred to rehabilitation/clinical psychologists/psychiatrists. Follow-up and support will be extended at the third level,” it said.
Source: The Hindu