Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline ‘KIRAN’

Published: September 5, 2020

Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thaawarchand Gehlot will launch the 24×7 Toll-Free Mental Health Rehabilitation Helpline “KIRAN” on September 7, 2020.

Key Facts

  • The helpline number is 1800-500-0019.
  • Helpline has been developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • It will provide relief and support to persons with Mental Illness.
  • This helpline will offer mental health rehabilitation services with the objective of early screening, first-aid, psychological support, mental well-being and psychological crisis management.
  • It will function as a lifeline to provide 1st stage advice, counselling and reference to individuals, families, NGOs, Parent Associations, Professional Associations, Rehabilitation Institutes, Hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country.

This helpline has a great significance in light of the growing incidence of Mental Illness, particularly because of COVID-19 Pandemic.

What is mental health?

According to WHO (World Health Organization), mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and can work productively and fruitfully.

Why is it a cause of concern?

Mental health has become a crisis worldwide. Illnesses ranges from minor depression to conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia. Mental illnesses are normally prevalent in females, children, elderly people, disaster survivors, industrial workforce, adolescents and those people who are having chronic medical conditions.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has also said, “If we do not act immediately, by 2030 depression will be the leading illness worldwide”. It has been estimated that by 2020, depression will be the second leading disability globally.

Mental Health in India

National Institute of Mental health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare conducted a survey in 12 states reveals that over 13% of the population in these states is suffering from some mental health disorders. 

Legislation supporting the Illness

Mental health Act (MHA) 1987, Person with disability act 1995, United Nations convention for rights of persons with disabilities 2006 and

The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017–The act repealed the Mental Health Act, 1987. It provides for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services.

Provisions of the 2017 act:

  • Patient can take call on how to be treated or not to be treated for the illness during a mental health situation.
  • Person have the right to appoint a nominated representative to take all health-related decisions on their behalf.
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) can not be given without anesthesia
  • Person who attempts to commit suicide will be presumed to be “suffering from severe stress’’ and shall not be subjected to any investigation or prosecution.
  • It also envisages the establishment of Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Health Authority.

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