Mrunal Manmay Dash

Ahead of the crucial Matric exams 2024, the Odisha School and Mass Education Department has urged officials to extensively use and display of Tele-Manas Toll-free number 14416 for the students so that they can manage their exam-related stress.

The Matric Exams 2024 will be held in Odisha from February 20 to March 4. Similarly, the CHSE +2 exams will commence on February 16.

The toll-free number will have Tele-manas counsellors to alleviate the stress related to exams of the students. The counsellors will answer whatever stress-related questions the students will ask before and during the matric exams.

Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS) initiative was launched by the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in October 2022. It aims to provide free tele-mental health services all over the country round the clock, particularly catering to people in remote or under-served areas.

The programme includes a network of 38 tele-mental health centres of excellence spread across 27 States and UTs, providing mental health services in over 20 languages and over 1600 trained counsellors running the first-line services. NIMHANS Bengaluru is the nodal centre.

A toll-free, 24/7 helpline number (14416) has been set up across the country allowing callers to select the language of choice for availing services. Service is also accessible at 1800-891-4416. The calls would be routed to Tele-MANAS cells in the respective state and union territory.

During the last edition of 'Pariksha Pe Charcha', Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that students should compete with themselves and not others.

Speaking about the initiative, educationist Niranjan Panda said, “Matric exam is an important exam. Previous class exams do not have any pass/fail system. For students, Matric is the first exam where they encounter a prospect of getting passed or failed. So the students are bound to be in stress. Exactly like a player who has to endure pressure of the expectations of the spectators, the students also take pressure of their parents and teachers’ expectations.”

“These psychologists at Tele-Manas call centres will hopefully alleviate their stress and make their exams easier for them. This is a welcome step by the Centre,” Panda added.

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