Manipur Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Sapam Ranjan Singh on Monday said that the rate of mental health issues in Manipur is higher than the national average.
The Health minister was speaking as the chief guest at the launch of ‘State Tele MANAS (Mental Health Assistance and Network Across States) Cell, Manipur’, a free mental health service to be provided through telecommunication at Dr Kamal Hall, department of Psychiatry of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) Lamphelpat, Imphal West on Monday.
The cell was launched under the National Mental Health Programme, National Health Mission in association with the directorate of Health Services, Manipur.
Dr Ranjan expressed that concerning the high rate of mental health issues, the rate of treatment is extremely low as just around 20 per cent of the total population who suffered from mental health issues are being treated according to a national report.
He underscored the need to increase the number of psychiatrists considering the rate of mental health issues in the state.
Having only around 30 psychiatrists in the whole state of Manipur is unfortunate, he added.
The state government is looking into this acute shortage of psychiatrists in the state, he further said, adding, there is a need to find out the reason for opting psychiatry by only a few MBBS passed out students, he said.
The people who are in the medical line also need to advise the budding health professionals about the scope and necessity of psychiatry in modern times, he added.
He said that COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected the society, but it has been a boon as well. After the arrival of the pandemic, many state government departments started providing various services digitally with support from the latest technology, he added.
In the same manner, this newly launched Tele MANAS would surely help in addressing the mental health problems faced by the people of the state in many ways, he said. The effective implementation of the Tele MANAS Cell requires commitment and dedication from the staff, he added.
It may be mentioned that Tele MANAS service can be accessed by dialling 14416 or 1800-891-4416. The services will be available from 9.30 am to 5 pm for the time being. Its services will be provided 24X7 after some months.
The function was attended by director of Health Services Dr Khoirom Sasheekumar Mangang; director of RIMS Dr Ranjit Singh; state mission director of NHM Manipur Dr Somorjit Ningombam, and professor and head of department of Psychiatry professor RK Lenin Singh as president and guests of honour respectively.