Saturday, March 18, 2023
HomeHealthGovt launches KIRAN, a 24x7 helpline for people to seek mental health...

Govt launches KIRAN, a 24×7 helpline for people to seek mental health counselling

The social justice and empowerment ministry has set up the toll-free number (1800-599-0019) to encourage people to reach out for help. The helpline has 13 language options.

Text Size:

New Delhi: Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Gehlot launched a 24×7 toll-free mental health rehabilitation helpline ‘KIRAN’ (1800-599-0019) Monday.

The helpline, which was developed by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD), aims to provide the first line of counselling in response to the increasing mental health issues among people due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will offer mental health rehabilitation services such as early screening, first-aid, psychological support, distress management, promoting positive behaviour and mental well-being, and psychological crisis management.

It will also provide first stage counselling, advice and also refer patients with severe illnesses to counsellors, with a special focus on persons with disabilities.

Stressing on the need for mental health treatment, Probodh Seth, joint secretary at DEPwD, said, “With the ongoing pandemic we are witnessing a rise in mental health problems. Our observations suggest that there is an acute shortage of mental health professionals in the country and to overcome this problem we are launching KIRAN as a dedicated helpline providing rehabilitation services for patients with mental illness.”

He added that the helpline was launched with the hope that people are encouraged to reach out for help.

“Due to the stigma around it, mental health patients do not feel comfortable seeking help. Keeping this in mind the identities of people calling the helpline will be kept anonymous,” said Seth.

Also read: A huge mental health crisis awaits India post-Covid, but only the power of community will help

Helpline in 13 languages, operated by 75 professionals

The helpline KIRAN was launched in collaboration with state-run telecom firm Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) that provided the department with telecom infrastructure.

The helpline will be available in 13 languages including Tamil, Hindi, English, Gujarati, Urdu, Assamese, Kannada and Malayalam.

It will be operated by 75 mental health professionals from 25 helpline centres, who will act as the first line of support. Of these, eight are national institutes, 14 are composite regional mental health centres and three are regional centres.

Some of the national institutes include branches of the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (NIEPID) situated in Delhi, Chennai, Dehradun, Mumbai and Sehore (Madhya Pradesh).

The DEPwD has also roped in 660 clinical psychologists and 668 psychiatrists who will act as the second level of support for patients who are severely ill or require drug prescriptions.

The department has also promised a third level of support where regular follow-up calls will be made to patients with severe mental illnesses.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India is witnessing a huge mental health crisis.

Counsellors and psychiatrists have noted that anxiety-related mental health problems, such as obsessive-compulsive (OCD) and panic disorders, have witnessed a 20-25 per cent rise since the pandemic began.

Furthermore, according to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) — India’s apex medical body — published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry in December 2019, one in seven Indians suffer from mental health problems.

Also read: Anxiety disorders on rise as Covid refuses to abate, doctors say cured patients relapsing


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. Respected sir,
    Alamgir Baba Kazi is a employee as a pieon of Bombay High court.this letter is to convey you that this person is mentally retarded.and having treatment in Dr machiswala bycualla in Bombay and this reason is hided with government.
    This health issue is dangerous at public place i.e court so plz do the medical check up to prove this
    We are making you aware about it plz take action. And do the neatful

  2. Kya Mr Jane k bad log help krne ka natak krte h…me baat krna chahti hu Kisi se please… Ho skta h subha ka suraj mere liye na ho… Please don’t pickup my call🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

    • Arti, kyaaa hua? Aap theek ho?? Mere se baat karogi? Baat karte hain na…aap theek tho ho.?Main natak Nahi karungi help Karne Ka, sachmein Dil se help Karne ki koshish karungi. 🥺😭mere Saath bhi Kuch issues hai. I’ll leave my email address here if u want. Agar ye padh rahi ho aap, tho reply Karna please, mujhe chinta ho rahi hai. Phir email karogi tho I’ll give my contact number there. Please take care♥️ I’m very worried for u. Apna dhyaan rakhna please khudko hurt mat karna ok? Please mere liye? Khudko injure mat karna ok? Im here for u. Aap strong ho please give up mat Karna please okay?

  3. First of all very difficult to contacting the no.. Talking to concern person he ask me to put the person for telephonic council ing,,,any way I request to contact Mr. Jay Patel,,40 Highly educated residing at D/401,, Kalpvrux complex Gotri Road vadodra to help.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular