Hyderabad: The Telangana government has launched a helpline to address mental health and psychological problems that may arise during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Announcing the launch in a tweet on Friday night, minister for IT and Industries, K T Rama Rao said, "#Telangana Commissionerate of Health & Family Welfare launched helpline 108 to address Mental Health & Psychosocial issues during #Lockdown Citizens emotional well-being is one of our top priorities. 108 Helpline will be working 24/7."
According to Telangana Health and Family Welfare Department, as many as 53 people working under an National Health Mission (NHM) programme have been trained at the Indian Institute of Health and Family Welfare here on COVID-19 mental health and counselling aspects for three days.
The call centre would have two experienced psychiatrists to provide the necessary support to the counsellors and also to address serious psychological behavioural cases, it said.
Isolation, social distancing, closure of schools, workplaces and entertainment during the lockdown period are challenges that may affect the people and it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, fear and loneliness at that time, the department said.
WHO has recommended that governments establish possible online counselling support services for effective handling of the mental health aspects of people during the coronavirus episode.
As suggested by the Centre, the state government has explored existing 108 helpline to be utilised for mental health counselling to support the needy....