MANOJNA helpline number launched for disaster-affected people of Assam
MANOJNA- 14410-a tele-counselling Mental Health Helpline service for disaster-affected people of Assam
GUWAHATI: MANOJNA- 14410-a tele-counselling Mental Health Helpline service for disaster-affected people of Assam, including COVID-19, was launched on Monday coinciding with the occasion of International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples by Jishnu Barua, State Chief Secretary, at the conference hall of the Chief Secretary in Guwahati, stated a press release.
The tele-counselling service is initiated by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in association with the Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, UNICEF, BSNL and StepOne- a non-profit organization.
The service will be operated through the Toll Free Number 14410 and trained doctors /psychiatrists of NHM, Assam under the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) will be utilized for the counseling. The people in stress / worried state of mind due to COVID pandemic or any other disaster like flood induced death of family members, friends, who has lost homestead or livelihood and responders and caregivers will be benefitted from this service.
Inaugurating the helpline, Barua appreciated the initiative of ASDMA catering the much needed services for the people suffering emotionally and psychologically on account of onset or aftermath of a disaster. Lauding the role played by the other partners in bringing the initiative a reality he stressed upon making this service more institutional and a sustained service.
The Chief Secretary also formally handed over 10 Satellite phones procured under State Disaster Response Fund by ASDMA to Environment & Forest Department for use by Kaziranga National Park to boost the communication system while dealing with natural disaster and anti-poaching activities.
GD Tripathi, Chief Executive Officer, ASDMA, explained about the need for taking actions and programmes in the field of disaster management. Participating in the event, Madhulika Jonathan, chief of Field Office, UNICEF, Guwahati appreciated the collaborative initiative and assured continuous support towards making the service reach out to the people of Assam and specially to the most vulnerable children and women in distress.
Dr.Mythili Hazarika, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH, highlighted the issue of increasing trend of population suffering from psycho social and emotional issues, especially in the wake of the pandemic. The programme was also attended by the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts virtually.