Improving Access to Mental Health Services

New Delhi : To address the burden of mental disorders, including depression, the Department of Health and Family Welfare is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) since 1982. Under NMHP, as part of National Health Mission (NHM), Central Government is providing technical and financial support to the States/UTs, based on the proposals received from them, for implementation of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) with the objectives to:

  1. Provide mental health services including prevention, promotion and long-term continuing care at different levels upto district healthcare delivery system.
  2. Provide suicide prevention services, work place stress management, life skills training and counselling in schools and colleges.
  3. Augment institutional capacity in terms of infrastructure, equipment and human resource for mental healthcare.
  4. Promote community awareness and participation in the delivery of mental healthcare services.


Further, with a view to improving access to mental health services, the Government is taking steps to strengthen mental healthcare services at the primary healthcare level. Mental healthcare services have been added in the package of services under Comprehensive Primary Health Care under Ayushman Bharat – HWC Scheme. Operational guidelines on Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders (MNS) at Health and Wellness Centers (HWC) have been released under the ambit of Ayushman Bharat. Through these guidelines, mental health services are being provided to all sections of the society, at the primary level.

The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Dr Bharti Pravin Pawar stated this in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha here today.

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