“MANOJNA” help line number launched bv Chief Secretary Shri Jishnu Barua 

“MANOJNA” help line number launched bv Chief Secretary, Assam 

Guwahati. Ausust 9.2021: “MANOJNA- 14410″-a tele-counselling Mental Health Helpline service for disaster affected people of Assam including COVID-l9 was launched today coinciding with the occasion of lnternational Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples” by Shri Jishnu Barua, State Chief Secretary at the Conference Hall of Chief Secretary, Dispur, Guwahati. 

The tele-counselling service is initiated by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in association with the Department of Psychiatry, Guwahati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH), National Health Mission (NHM), Assam, UNICEF, BSNL and StepOne- a non profit organization. 

The servicewill 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 etc. and Responders & Care Givers will be benefitted from this service. 

Inaugurating the helpline, Shri Barua appreciated the initiative ofASDMA 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 l0 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. 

Shri G.D. Tripathi, lAS, Chief Executive Officer, ASDMA explained about the need for taking actions and programmes in the field of disaster management following the principle of ‘Leave no one behinct

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. 

Smti Archana Verma,lAS, Principal Secretary to the Government of Assam, Administrative Reforms & Training explained, about ‘Look, Listen and Link’model adopted for making the mental health services a community based service as well. She also stated that due to the elevated rate of anxiety arising out of COVID, it’s become much necessary to start this kind of service. 

Dr.Mythili Hazarika, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, GMCH highlighted on the issue of increasing trend of population suffering from psycho social and emotional issues specially in the wake ofthe pandemic. 

Participating in the event, Shri Raghabendra Prasad, founder, ProjectStepOne, Shri AK Pahi, Chief General Manager, BSNL, Guwahati, Amit Sahai, PCCF, Wild Life, expressed that today’s initiative for providing innovative and technology based solutions will definitely help the needy section ofpeople ofthe State. 

The programme was also attended by the Deputy Commissioners of all the Districts virtually.