The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a pilot project of Tele MANAS for the armed forces.

Tele-MANAS, part of India's national tele-mental health programme, was launched in October 2022. It offers comprehensive, integrated, and inclusive 24/7 tele-mental health services with a toll-free number 14416.

The MoU seeks the collaboration of the two ministries to establish a pilot project for operating a special cell at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune for two years. The special cell was inaugurated on December 1, last year.

“There has been a long-standing need for mental health counselling for armed forces personnel, and now, with the dedicated Tele MANAS cell, armed forces personnel and their families will receive crucial mental health assistance 24x7, addressing their mental health concerns more effectively,” said Lt General Daljit Singh, Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services.

Aradhna Patnaik, AS and MD, National Health Mission, underscored the significance of attending to the mental health concerns of the armed forces, considering their distinct mental health requirements.

The project will address the mental health and well-being of Armed Forces personnel and their families.

The ministry noted that the Armed Forces beneficiaries will have direct access to specialised care, ensuring that their unique mental health needs are addressed promptly and effectively.

Tele MANAS, the digital extension of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP), currently has 51 operational cells in 36 States and UTs. It offers services in 20 different languages.

Since its launch in October 2022, Tele MANAS has received over 10 lakh calls and manages over 3,500 calls daily.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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