A 24X7 toll-free mental rehabilitation helpline- KIRAN (1800-599-0019) was launched by the Centre with the aim of providing psychological support to people.

The helpline was launched by the union minister for social justice and empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot.

Launching the helpline, Gehlot said that it will offer mental health rehabilitation services with the objective of early screening, first aid, psychological support, distress management, mental wellbeing, promoting positive behaviour and psychological crisis management.

“The helpline will function as a lifeline to provide advice, counselling 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,” Gehlot said.

“I hope this helpline will also be very useful for family members of those with mental illness,” Gehlot added.

The helpline is backed by 660 clinical and rehabilitation psychologists and 668 psychiatrists.

The toll-free helpline will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the technical coordination of BSNL.

The 13 languages covered in the KIRAN helpline are Hindi, Assamese, Tamil, Marathi, Odia, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kannada, Bengali, Urdu and English.

“When 1800-599-0019 is dialled from any mobile phone or landline of any telecom network, one gets the option of selecting the language following which they get connected to the helpline centre of the native or desired state,” Sethi said

He further informed that the caller will then be connected to mental health experts, who will help to resolve the issue or refer and connect to external help.

The helpline is dedicated to resolving mental health issues related to anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, suicide, depression, panic attacks adjustment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders and substance abuse.

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)

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