GUWAHATI: The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thaawarchand Gehlot, launched 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline “KIRAN” (1800-500-0019) on Monday. The toll free number was launched to provide relief and support to persons with mental illness.
Gehlot said that the Kiran helpline will offer mental health rehabilitation services with the objective of early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental wellbeing, promoting positive behaviours, 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 will function as a lifeline to provide first 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 minister hoped that this helpline will be very useful for family members of persons with mental illness also.
This toll-free helpline will be operational round the clock. At least 25 Institutions including eight 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.
The helpline operates in this way:
Dial Toll- Free number 1800-599-0019 from any mobile or landline of any telecom network from any part of India. After welcome message, select language by pressing the correct button; after the language selection, Select State/UT, you will get connected to the Helpline Centre of the native or desired state, mental health expert will help to resolve the issue or refer/connect to external help (Clinical Psychologist/Rehabilitation Psychologist/Psychiatrist).
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.