‘Centre supporting implementation of mental health programmes in 704 dists’ New Delhi: MoS for Health Bharti Pravin Pawar speaks in Rajya Sabha during the ongoing monsoon session, in New Delhi on Tuesday, Aug. 02, 2022. (Photo: Rajya Sabha/IANS)

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New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) To address the burden of mental disorders, the government is supporting implementation of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) under the National Mental Health Programme in 704 districts of the country.

The programme aims to detect, manage and provide treatment of mental disorders or illness with the major components of counselling in schools and colleges, work place stress management, life skills training, suicide prevention services and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities for generation of awareness and removal of stigma associated with mental illness, said Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Pawar said that under the aegis of the School Health Programme under Ayushman Bharat, NCERT has developed a comprehensive package titled “Training and Resource Material: Health and Wellness of School-going Children”.

A specific module has been included on “Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health”, which has activities related to the mental health and well-being of students and teachers.

Modular Handbook on Early Identification and Intervention for Mental Health Problems in School Going Children has been developed in collaboration with Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) which contains guidelines for early identification, detection and intervention of mental health problems (stress/illness) in school- going children, for hands-on training of teachers, counsellors and other stakeholders.

The Handbook was launched by Ministry of Education on September 6 this year, Pawar said.

The Ministry of Education has taken up a proactive initiative, named, ‘Manodarpan’, covering a wide range of activities to provide psychosocial support to students, teachers and families for Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing during the Covid outbreak and beyond.

NCERT has started ‘NCERT Counselling Services for School Children’ in April 2020 to help school students across the country share their concerns.

This service is provided free of charge by about 270 counsellors across different regions of the country.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) provides pre and post examination tele-counselling facilities through centralised toll-free helpline, she informed in her reply.

The government has launched the National Tele Mental Health Programme (Tele MANAS) on October 10, 2022 to provide access to mental health care services to all through a centralized toll-free helpline.

–IANS

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