India’s first national mental health rehabilitation helpline was launched recently*, to provide mental health support in 13 languages. The Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry launched it to enable better access to mental health resources. The “Kiran” mental health rehabilitation helpline number 1800-599-0019, will give callers “support for early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental well-being, preventing deviant behaviours, and psychological crisis management, etc.”
For this episode of The Suno India Show, ahead of the National Suicide Prevention Day, we set out to find answers for some questions such as “Will I reach out for mental health support whenever I just feel like talking to someone or when I’m in the middle of a crisis?” And how does this national helpline fit in the larger discussion around access to mental health resources?
You will hear from Gaurav Kumar Bansal, a mental health advocate who has filed multiple PILs in SC to implement mental health policies, Aparna Joshi from iCALL, which is a national level free psychosocial counseling service. You will also hear from Raashi Thakran who turned a deeply personal tragedy into a campaign demanding for a national mental health helpline and Jasmine Kalha, the program manager and research fellow at the Center for Mental Health Law and Policy, Indian Law Society also weighs in on the helpline.