For providing affordable and accessible mental healthcare facilities in the country, including the poor and underprivileged, the Government is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in the country. The District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) component of the NMHP has been sanctioned for implementation in 716 districts for which support is provided to States/UTs through the National Health Mission. Facilities made available under DMHP at the Community Health Centre (CHC) and Primary Health Centre (PHC) levels, include outpatient services, assessment, counselling/ psycho-social interventions, continuing care and support to persons with severe mental disorders, drugs, outreach services, ambulance services etc. In addition to above services there is a provision of 10 bedded in-patient facility at the District level. The State-wise list of 716 districts approved under DMHP is available at https://main.mohfw.gov.in/sites/default/files/Approved_0.pdf.
Besides the above, the Government has launched a “National Tele Mental Health Programme” on 10th October, 2022, to further improve access to quality mental health counselling and care services in the country. As on 09.03.2023, 25 States/ UTs have set up 36 Tele MANAS Cells and have started mental health services. 63806 calls have been handled on the helpline number. In order to ensure holistic development of adolescent population, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram (RKSK) in 2014 to reach out to 25.30 crore adolescents in the country. Under RKSK Mental Health is one of six key thematic areas identified for prioritization under the programme including sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, injuries and violence (including gender-based violence), non-communicable diseases, and substance misuse. Under the aegis of the School Health Programme under Ayushman Bharat, NCERT has developed a comprehensive package titled “Training and Resource Material: Health and Wellness of School-going Children”. A specific module has been included on “Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health”, which has activities related to the mental health and well-being of students and teachers.
The Ministry of Education has taken up a proactive initiative, named, ‘Manodarpan’, covering a wide range of activities to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing during the COVID outbreak and beyond. Under the Manodarpan initiative, a Web page (URL: http://manodarpan.education.gov.in) has been created carrying advisory guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Practical tips, posters, videos, do’s and don’ts for students, teachers/faculty and families for psychosocial support have been uploaded on the Web-page. A National Toll-free Helpline (8448440632) for a country-wide outreach to students from schools, colleges and universities to provide them tele-counselling to address their mental health and psychosocial issues during and after the COVID-19 situation has been set up.
NCERT has started ‘NCERT Counselling Services for School Children’ in April, 2020 to help school students across the country share their concerns. This service is provided free of charge by about 270 counsellors across different regions of the country. Live interactive sessions on ‘SAHYOG: Guidance for Mental Wellbeing of Children’ are telecast on 12 PM eVidya DTH-TV channels for classes 1 to 12. To handle stress and anxiety, recorded videos on Yoga are telecast through 12 DTH TV channels with effect from 1st September, 2020 from Classes 1 to 12 and also digital resources are made available in digital platforms, i.e., DIKSHA.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) provides pre and post examination tele-counselling facilities through centralized toll-free helpline. The Government conducted the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) of India through the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru in 2016 as per which the prevalence of mental disorders in adults over the age of 18 years is about 10.6%. The treatment gap for mental disorders ranged between 70% to 92% for different disorders.
Under the Tertiary care component of NMHP, 25 Centres of Excellence have been sanctioned to increase the intake of students in PG departments in mental health specialities as well as to provide tertiary level treatment facilities. Further, the Government has also supported 19 Government medical colleges/institutions to strengthen 47 PG Departments in mental health specialties. 22 AIIMS also have the provision of Mental Health Services. These services are also available under PMJAY. The data regarding number of psychologists and counsellors practicing in rural areas of the country, is not maintained centrally.
The Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar stated this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha today.
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