Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Tele-MANAS counsels 2 Lakh distressed people


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Tele-MANAS

Mains level: Mental health and telemedicine


Central Idea: The government-run national tele-mental health programme, Tele MANAS, has achieved a significant milestone by receiving over 2,00,000 calls from individuals across India since its launch in October 2022.

What is Tele-MANAS?

  • Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in October 2022.
  • It aims to provide free tele-mental health services all over the country round the clock, particularly catering to people in remote or under-served areas.

Implementation of the scheme

  • Counselling: The programme includes a network of 38 tele-mental health centres of excellence spread across 27 States and UTs working in over 20 languages.
  • Helpline: A toll-free, 24/7 helpline number (14416) has been set up across the country allowing callers to select the language of choice for availing services. Service is also accessible at 1-800-91-4416.

Two-tier working

  • Tele-MANAS will be organised in a two-tier system; Tier 1 comprises state Tele-MANAS cells which include trained counsellors and mental health specialists.
  • Tier 2 will comprise specialists at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation.

Call Demographics and Concerns

  • Age Group: Two-thirds of the callers fall in the 18-45 years age group, while 12.5% belong to the 46-64 years age group, and 8% are below 18 years of age.
  • Gender Distribution: Of the two lakh calls, 59.6% were made by male callers, and 40% by female callers.
  • Top Concerns: The most common reasons for seeking help were general feelings of sadness (28.8%), sleep-related problems (27.6%), anxiety (20.4%), relationship issues (10%), aggression (9.2%), and low interest in activities (9.7%).

Expansion of the scheme

  • The initial rollout providing basic support and counselling through a centralized Interactive Voice Response system (IVRS) is being customized for use across all States and UTs.
  • It is being linked with other services like National teleconsultation, e-Sanjeevani, Ayushman Bharat, mental health professionals, health centres, and emergency psychiatric facilities for specialized care.
  • This will not only help in providing immediate mental healthcare services but also facilitate a continuum of care.
  • Eventually, this will include the entire spectrum of mental wellness and illness, and integrate all systems that provide mental health care.

Back2Basics: National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP)

  • The Indian Government announced the National Tele Mental Health Programme (NTMHP) in the Union Budget 2022-23.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru is the nodal centre for the programme.
  • The programme sought to establish a digital mental health network that can address the mental health crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The pandemic has brought forth challenges to mental health, and the NTMHP aims to provide accessible and affordable mental health services to all.
  • The programme will involve the use of digital platforms such as teleconsultations, chatbots, and mobile applications to deliver mental health services.
  • The NTMHP will integrate with existing mental health services to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to mental healthcare.

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