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Nagaland launches Tele-MANAS to bolster mental health support

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HT Correspondent
DIMAPUR, Aug 29: The Nagaland government launched the
Tele-Mental Health and Neuroscience (Tele-MANAS) initiative
to bolster mental health support in the state.

Dr Ritu Thurr, mission director, National Health Mission,
launched the programme at the State Mental Health Institute in
Kohima on Tuesday.
Thurr highlighted the comprehensive nature of mental health
that encompasses emotional, psychological, and social well-
being. He said mental health extends to thinking patterns,
emotions, behaviour, stress management, relationships, and
decision-making.
He explained that Tele-MANAS strives to bridge the gap
between mental health services by offering remote access to
mental health professionals.
He said through technology-driven mental health services, Tele-
MANAS aims to minimise the stigma attached to seeking
mental health support.
The initiative facilitates early identification of mental health
issues, enabling timely intervention and care, he added.
Thurr expressed optimism that the programme, with its existing
resources and strategic implementation, would foster
improvements in mental health while challenging societal
stigmas. The initiative’s launch aligns with advancing research
and innovation within the mental health domain, he said..
Dr Nuvotso Khesoh, senior medical officer, State Mental Health
Institute, emphasised the ubiquity of mental health challenges
and underscored mental illness as a leading contributor to ill
health and disability worldwide.

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Khesoh outlined the far-reaching economic consequences of
mental health issues and stressed the urgency of accessible,
affordable, and convenient care. He noted that tele mental
health services fill this crucial gap by offering quality care to
remote areas.
Suyimtenla Jamir, deputy director, National Mental Health
Programme, spoke on the success of Tele-MANAS nationally.
She said over 200,000 calls were reportedly received on the
toll-free helpline since its launch in October 2022. She
identified prevalent mental health challenges in Nagaland as
exam stress, addiction, unemployment, and lack of family
support.
As the initiative expands, it integrates with eSanjeevani, a user-
friendly platform, facilitating video consultations, fostering
inclusivity and compassion in mental health care.
Tele-MANAS marks a remarkable step towards a
comprehensive mental health care network, driven by
technology, accessibility, and empathy, as it strives to reach
individuals across Nagaland’s various districts.

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