The helpline 1800-599-0019, developed by the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry of India, on Thursday. Citing the prevalence of mental health issues and the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 crisis. It aims to provide callers support for early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, mental well-being, preventing deviant behaviours, psychological crisis management etc.
It has been reported that for Raashi Thakran, this is a personal victory. A Mental health advocate and marketing executive at YourDost, lost her 18-year-old brother to suicide in 2019. Heartbroken, she started a Change.org petition addressed to Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to create a national helpline for suicide. And just over a year, later ‘KIRAN’ has been launched.
According to an estimate by the World Health Organization (WHO) the WHO has labelled India as the world’s ‘most depressing country’. Moreover, between 1990 to 2017, one in seven people from India have suffered from mental illness ranging from depression, anxiety to severe conditions such as schizophrenia, according to a study.
The foremost reason for an individual to suffer is the lack of social awareness regarding mental health. There are employment issues and sensitivity towards a range of drawbacks that prevail in society. And in these times, ‘KIRAN’ is a good step. With 660volunteer clinical/rehabilitation psychologists and 668 volunteer psychiatrists, the helpline will be run from 25 centres by 75 experts who can handle 300 callers per hour, the statement said.
The helpline will offer support in 13 languages for any individual, family, NGOs, DPOs, parent/professional associations, rehabilitation institutes, hospitals or anyone in need of support across the country.