Home Header News Govt’s mental health helpline Tele MANAS received over 1 million calls since...

Govt’s mental health helpline Tele MANAS received over 1 million calls since inception

Government of India’s National Tele-Mental Health Programme has achieved a significant milestone, with the number of calls it has received since its launch in October 2022 seeking mental health support. The programme has received over 1 million (10 lakh) calls on its Tele-MANAS toll-free number, and is receiving an average of 3,500 calls per day, as per an announcement made by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Tele MANAS toll-free helpline numbers 14416 or 1-800-891-4416 connects callers seeking support with mental health professionals from across India. “By linking existing mental health resources and establishing a comprehensive digital network, Tele-MANAS has become an essential platform for addressing the nation’s mental health needs,” as per a statement released by the ministry.

Launched on World Mental Health Day

The National Tele Mental Health Programme of India was inaugurated on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2022. The purpose was to create a digital mental health ecosystem that will provide a boost to the existing mental healthcare services. This was conceptualised after an urgent need was felt for a digital mental health network in the wake of COVID-19.
With 51 functioning Tele MANAS cells across the country, the service caters to over 3,500 calls daily in multiple languages. The platform not only connects mental health professionals with help seekers, the latter also get call-backs following up about the support that they have received.

Number of callers growing

The Tele-MANAS helpline has witnessed a steady increase in the number of callers, growing from around 12,000 in December 2022 to over 90,000 in May 2024. More number of people opening up on mental health issues and coming out to seek support reflects the growing awareness around mental health in India.
The most common mental health concerns which have been reported include sadness, sleep disturbance, stress and anxiety, as revealed by the government. A sudden increase in calls related to exam stress can be witnessed during the exam season, to which counsellors offer supportive counselling and self-help strategies. The government is also making efforts to reach more students, especially adolescents in various educational institutes.