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    Feeling Depressed due to COVID 19? Dial 104

    A team of 220 professional psychiatrists has been now engaged in dealing with the mental health of the COVID patients in Assam

    Guwahati: Anxiety and depression seemed to be taking a toll on many during the COVID 19 crisis. People living in home quarantine, institutional quarantine and mostly the confirmed COVID positive cases in the state were found to be not only struggling with their physical health but also mental health.
    To ease the situation and to keep these patients’ psychology in a ‘sound’ state, the health department in Assam has come up with a remedy- thorough counseling of the COVID patients.
    A team of 220 professional psychiatrists, mental health volunteers, has been now engaged in dealing with the mental health of the COVID patients of the state.
    State health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “A volunteering network, named ‘Manan’ of psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical psychologists and counselors have been formed to help COVID-19 patients and also those in quarantine. It’s very important to keep their mental health fit.”
    The health minister added that the 104 Sarathi helpline, apart from disseminating information under the guidelines of the World Health Organisation and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, would now also help the COVID patients as tele-counselors.
    Although the 104 helpline had been providing counseling in addition to medical or health-related advice since the lockdown began, the new program-Manan was launched as many of the tele-callers were not formally trained as psychologists.
    “Anxiety can be very dangerous. We have seen people from all backgrounds suffering from mental stress and many times succumbing to the situation they even take drastic steps like suicides. So dealing with mental health is a major concern,” an official from 104 helpline added.
    Earlier in April, the Psychiatry Department of Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in collaboration with the Assam State Police too had launched six helpline numbers for tele-counseling, operational from 9 am to 9 pm.
    “Feeling anxious, sad, or disturbed due to COVID-19 pandemic? Speak to a mental health professional. Together, we shall overcome,” the Assam Police had tweeted.

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