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The 24x7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline KIRAN (1800-599-0019) was launched by DEPwD, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in 13 languages to provide relief and support to persons with Mental Illness and in view of the growing incidence of mental illness, particularly in the wake of Pandemic COVID-19. Union Minister for SJ&E Shri Thaawarchand Gehlot launched it yesterday through Webcast along with poster, brochure and resource book on helpline.

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).

This Toll Free Helpline is 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.

Mental illness can affect one’s emotional, psychological and social well-being. Seeking help is a positive step, it enhances health, well-being and happiness. The helpline offers mental health rehabilitation services with the objective of early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental wellbeing, promoting positive behaviors, 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 functions 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.

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 caters 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).

Sources https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1652240

 24x7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline Kiran (1800-599-0019) launched in 13 Languages
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