The MoU will help support Mpower to approach State Government to extend expert resource support to handle Tele MANAS services as add-on Tele MANAS Cells
Mpower, a mental health initiative of the Aditya Birla Education Trust, has signed an MoU with NIMHANS (National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences) to support the implementation of Tele MANAS services across India. As part of the collaboration, Mpower will be responsible for setting up, operating, and managing all day-to-day affairs for Tele MANAS centres that are going to be initiated by Mpower. NIMHANS, on the other hand, will provide Mpower with access to the platform, operating guidelines, training and mentoring, monitoring and framework needed to operate the centres.
The MoU saw the presence of Dr Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Mpower and Aditya Birla Education Trust, Dr Pratima Murthy, Director and Senior Professor of Psychiatry at NIMHANS, Mr Aashish Sanghi, Trustee, Aditya Birla Education Trust along with Dr Neha Garg Director (NHM-II) Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India.
Mpower will leverage its expertise in providing seamless, standardised, and world-class mental health services to beneficiaries of Tele MANAS. This collaboration aims to ensure the successful on-ground implementation of Tele MANAS services, as well as the accessibility and availability of trained experts and professional mental health counselling services to those in need.
Dr Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of Mpower and Aditya Birla Education Trust said “Mpower is proud to partner with NIMHANS to provide support for Tele MANAS. I strongly believe that public-private partnerships, such as ours, which incorporate standardisation, trained manpower, and technological support for government programmes, can catalyse and transform systems and service delivery, ultimately achieving the goal of providing quality mental health services to all. We are honoured to help roll out the government’s timely and much-needed Tele MANAS programme.”
Dr Pratima Murthy, Director and Senior Professor of Psychiatry at NIMHANS, remarked “It is amazing that we gather to start the next stage of Tele MANAS with the signing of the MoU with Mpower to work on the on-ground execution of Tele MANAS. There is no health without mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues among people of all ages. Now we are looking to see how we can expand Tele MANAS to the length and breadth of India. Our goal is to make sure that the Tele MANAS services are accessible to all and in this journey, we are happy to look at Public Private Partnerships with strong knowledge of the space. At Tele MANAS we offer counselling services in 20 regional languages. At Tele MANAS we have a framework and we look forward to Mpower expanding this programme in various states.”
Tele MANAS follows a two-tier model, with Tier I consisting of state Tele MANAS cells that employ trained counsellors and mental health specialists. Tier II has specialists available at District Mental Health Programme (DMHP)/Medical College resources for physical consultation and/or e-Sanjeevani for audio-visual consultation. A toll-free, 24/7 number (14416) has been established across the country, allowing callers in need to select their preferred language and receive the necessary assistance. Through this MoU Mpower will support these offerings to ensure access to professional mental health services across all of India.