Government launches 24x7 toll-free helpline KIRAN for mental health rehabilitation

Helpline–KIRAN–was launched by Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot through a Webcast in Delhi on Monday “to provide relief and support to persons with mental Illness”.

In an effort to reach out with support to persons with mental illness in view of the growing number of incidence, particularly amid COVID-19 pandemic, the Union government on Monday launched the 24x7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline KIRAN, 1800-500-0019.

Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot launched the helpline through a Webcast in Delhi on Monday “to provide relief and support to persons with mental Illness”, the ministry said in a release.

Also, releasing the poster, brochure and resource book on helpline on the occasion, 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.

The helpline is aimed at serving people experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, adjustment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, pandemic induced psychological issues and 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, he said.

The minister expressed the hope that this helpline will be useful for family members of persons with mental illness also.

The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry said in the release that the toll free helpline will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week with the Technical Coordination of BSNL.

As many as 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.

How to reach Helpline KIRAN | Follow the Steps:

1. Dial Toll- Free number 1800-599-0019 from any mobile or landline of any telecom network from any part of India.

2. After you hear the welcome message, select language by pressing correct button

3. After the language selection, Select State/UT, you will get connected to the Helpline Centre of native or desired state, Mental health expert will help to resolve the issue or refer/connect to external help (Clinical Psychologist/Rehabilitation Psychologist/Psychiatrist).

Objectives of Helpline KIRAN

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.

This helpline is dedicated to resolve mental health issues related to Anxiety; Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD); Suicide; Depression; Panic Attack(s) Adjustment Disorders; Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and Substance Abuse. The helpline will cater to- People in Distress; Pandemic induced psychological issues and Mental Health Emergency.

Experts involved in Operation of KIRAN

The ministry states that 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).

National Institutes (NIs): NIMHR, Sehore; PDU-NIPPD, Delhi; NIEPMD, Chennai; NIUEPID, Secunderabad; NIEPVD, Dehradun; AYJ-NISHD, Mumbai; SV-NIRTAR, Cuttack and NILD, Kolkata;  and Regional Centres (RCs): NIEPID, RC- Noida, NIEPID, RC- Navi Mumbai NIEPID; and RC- Kolkata are involved as Helping Centres in this helpline.

The Composite Regional Centres (CRCs) involved as Helpline Centres are as follow: CRC- Ahmedabad; CRC-Sundernagar; CRC-Guwahati; CRC-Davanagere; CRC-Nellore; CRC-Rajnandgaon; CRC-Srinagar; CRC-Kozhikode; CRC-A&N Islands; CRC-Bhopal; CRC-Tripura; CRC-Nagpur; CRC-Gorakhpur and CRC-Lucknow.

First Published:Sept. 7, 2020, 4:35 p.m.