FORTIS MENTAL HEALTH 24x7 HELPLINE: +91 8376804102
KIRAN 24x7 HELPLINE: 18005990019
It is no hiding that mental health is still an issue that we bury because it is not really given the importance that it deserves. Mental Health issues come up unannounced and deteriorate the physiological health too. We ignore them conveniently because we are taught to ignore them. The gross misinterpretation of mental health across the masses shows the illiteracy around it. The rural population is widely misinformed or uninformed about mental illnesses. While there is an absence of information, so in the absence of resources. There is a scarcity of Mental Health practitioners. It should be made compulsory to have counsellors in ALL educational institutions.
Therapy is considered a ‘western concept’ because of the misinformation and preconceived notions around it. While it is viable to seek therapy in case need arises, it is to be noted that not everyone can afford it. ‘Affordability’ means financial and social. Therapy is expensive for larger sections of the audience. Moreover, not everyone can open up about their mental health and the need for therapy with their families due to various reasons. Again, it is to be noted that these reasons vary from person to person. In rural areas, various superstitions are attached to the healing of mental illnesses. Failure to acknowledge them takes a different discourse which is destructive in nature.
There is a need for acknowledgement for the same by the state. Along with this, there needs to be adequate budget allocation. There have been various social media campaigns where trained professionals and doctors have taken upon them to provide help through helpline numbers and one-to-one basis. While social media brews with the need to amplify the importance of mental health, it is also required to not be the help for someone unless trained.
Helpline numbers are basically toll-free numbers which connect the caller with someone who can be of assistance. Fortis mental health helpline is one of the most popular and useful helpline numbers across the country. The helpline will be beneficial for marginalised communities. During the anti-CAA protests, this helpline number helped people through distressful times free of cost.
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has launched KIRAN: A mental health rehabilitation 24x7 helpline number. The objective is to provide first aid, support for the early screening, distress management, psychological support, preventing deviant behaviours, mental well-being, psychological crisis management, among others.
The purpose is to resolve the issues faced by the people experiencing anxiety, depression, stress, panic attack, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, mental health emergency, and pandemic induced psychological issues.
The helpline launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will be supported by the 660 volunteers clinical/rehabilitation psychologists and 668 volunteer psychiatrists There will also be 75 experts at 25 helpline centres who will consist of the capacity of handling 300 clients per hour. Kiran Helpline will be able to offer support in 13 languages. It will not just be limited for any individual but will provide support to NGOs, family, parent associations, rehabilitation institutes, professional associations, hospitals, or anyone in need of mental support in the country.
Although the helpline is in its testing stages, it is a step towards the goal.