Thaawarchand Gehlot launchs ‘24×7 toll-free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline KIRAN-(1800-599-0019)

New Delhi: The 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline “KIRAN” (1800-500-0019) was launched by Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment through virtual mode Webcast here today to provide relief and support to persons with Mental Illness, DEPwD, M/o Social Justice & Empowerment launched it in view of the growing incidence of Mental Illness, particularly in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic. Shri Gehlot also released the poster, brochure and resource book on helpline. He also witnessed the live demonstration of helpline. Secretary, DEPwD Smt. Shakuntala D. Gamlin was present. Shri Prabodh Seth, JS presented a detailed PPT on the helpline.

Addressing on the occasion, Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot said that the Kiran helpline will offer mental health rehabilitation services with the objective of early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental wellbeing, promoting positive behaviours, psychological crisis management etc. It aims at serving people experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, adjustment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, pandemic induced psychological issues & mental health emergencies. It will function as a lifeline to provide 1st stage advice, counseling and reference in 13 languages to individuals, families, NGOs, Parent Associations, Professional Associations, Rehabilitation Institutes, Hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country. He hoped that this helpline will be very useful for family members of persons with mental illness also.

This toll free helpline will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the Technical Coordination of BSNL. 25 Institutions including 8 National Institutes are involved in this helpline. It is backed by 660 Clinical / Rehabilitation Psychologists and 668 Psychiatrists. The 13 languages covered in the helpline are: Hindi, Assamese, Tamil, Marathi, Odia, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali, Urdu and English.

The helpline operates in this way: Dial Toll- Free number 1800-599-0019 from any mobile or land line of any telecom network from any part of India. After welcome message, select language by pressing correct button; after the language selection, Select State/UT, you will get connected to the Helpline Centre of native or desired state, Mental health expert will help to resolve the issue or refer/connect to external help (Clinical Psychologist/Rehabilitation Psychologist/Psychiatrist).

The objectives of the helpline are Early Screening; First Aid; Psychological support; Distress management; Mental well-being; Preventing deviant behaviors; Psychological crisis management and Referral to mental health experts.

This helpline is dedicated to resolve mental health issues related to Anxiety; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Suicide; Depression; Panic Attack(s) Adjustment Disorders; Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and Substance Abuse. The helpline will cater to- People in Distress; Pandemic induced psychological issues and Mental Health Emergency.

The helpline is being coordinated by the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Multiple Disabilities (NIEPMD), Chennai and National Institute of Mental Health Rehabilitation (NIMHR), Sehore. Professional support for the helpline is being provided by the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists (IACP), Indian Psychiatrists Association (IPA) and Indian Psychiatric Social Workers Association (IPSWA).

National Institutes (NIs): NIMHR, Sehore; PDU-NIPPD, Delhi; NIEPMD, Chennai; NIUEPID, Secunderabad; NIEPVD, Dehradun; AYJ-NISHD, Mumbai; SV-NIRTAR, Cuttack and NILD, Kolkata; and Regional Centres (RCs): NIEPID, RC- Noida, NIEPID, RC- Navi Mumbai NIEPID; and RC- Kolkata are involved as Helping Centres in this helpline.

The Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) involved as Helpline Centres are as follow: CRC- Ahmedabad; CRC-Sundernagar; CRC-Guwahati; CRC-Davanagere; CRC-Nellore; CRC-Rajnandgaon; CRC-Srinagar; CRC-Kozhikode; CRC-A&N Islands; CRC-Bhopal; CRC-Tripura; CRC-Nagpur; CRC-Gorakhpur and CRC-Lucknow.

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