Indian Army Updates

Tele MANAS cell for Armed Forces


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Tele MANAS, National Mental Health Programme (NMHP)

Why in the News?

  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster collaboration in operating a special cell of Tele MANAS.
    • This collaboration, spanning two years, aims to establish a pilot project at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune.

Suicides and Fratricides in Armed Forces: A Global Issue

  • As per information given in Parliament in April 2022, there were two cases of fratricide each year from 2019 to 2021 and one case in 2021.
  • In an older reply in Rajya Sabha on suspected suicide cases in the Army, the Government informed that during the years 2016 to 2018 there were 104, 75 and 80 cases, respectively.
  • A 2018 study correlated extended deployment to a 15% increased suicide risk in the U.S. military, the U.S. Department of Defence recorded 503 suicides among active-duty personnel in 2019.
  • Common reasons that forces an individual to take extreme steps are:
    • Family issues,
    • Family separation,
    • Prolonged deployment in difficult areas,
    • Continuous exposure to hazardous situations,
    • Traumas originated in Counter Insurgency or Counter Terrorism operations and
    • Wide range of Human Resource management issues.
  • Preventive Measures: The Army in its latest advisory issued in August 2023 stated that officers and religious teachers – at least one Pandit, Maulvi, Granthi or Pastor – are posted in each unit and selected other ranks are being trained on the nuances of counselling.

What is the Tele MANAS Initiative?

  • Tele MANAS, or Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking across States, stands as India’s National Tele Mental Health Programme.
  • It is envisioned as the digital extension of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP).
  • Its announcement came in the Union Budget of 2022.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) serves as the nodal agency overseeing its implementation.
  • The primary aim is to ensure universal access to equitable, accessible, affordable, and high-quality mental health care through round-the-clock tele-mental health services.
  • The International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru, serves as the technology partner.
  • The nodal centre for Tele MANAS operations is located at NIMHANS, Bengaluru.
  • The National Health Systems Resource Centre operates within the health system domain.
  • Helpline numbers for assistance are 14416 and 18008914416.
  • The implementation structure comprises two tiers:
  1. Tier 1: Consists of State Tele MANAS cells comprising trained counsellors and mental health specialists,
  2. Tier 2: Comprises resources from the District Mental Health Program (DMHP) and medical colleges.

Reach and Impact

  • Nationwide Presence: Currently, 51 operational Tele MANAS cells operate across all 36 States and UTs, delivering services in 20 diverse languages.
  • Remarkable Response: Since its inception in October 2022, Tele MANAS has received over 10 lakh calls and manages a daily average of more than 3,500 calls.

National Mental Health Programme (NMHP):

  • The NMHP was launched by the Government of India in 1982.
  • It was initiated to address the significant burden of mental disorders in the population.
  • Mental disorders affect approximately 6-7% of the population in India.
    • Objectives of NMHP: Ensuring the availability and accessibility of minimum mental healthcare to all, particularly the vulnerable and underprivileged sections of the population.
  • As part of NMHP, the District Mental Health Program (DMHP) was introduced in 1996 during the IX Five Year Plan based on the ‘Bellary Model’:
    • The Bellary Model emphasizes the importance of early detection, short-term training for physicians, and health worker training in identifying individuals with mental health issues.



[2023] Why suicide among young women is increasing in Indian society?

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