A mental health helpline by Manas Foundation
Manas Foundation is consistently making efforts to provide comprehensive solutions to the mental health needs of our society. We have launched multiple innovative programs to reach out across communities. Our bouquet of services includes community outreach projects, conducting action researches, School contact programs, training projects for barefoot counselors and psychology students, OPD service for people with mental health needs, awareness drives, multi media campaigns and many more!
All our programs are geared towards the goal of demystifying mental health for the public, undoing the stigma attached with those suffering from mental illnesses and addressing the demands of psycho – social care severely lacking in our society. Our focus is always the person and not the problem, which enables us in providing positive, proactive and preventive mental health services to people.
Soon after we began our journey in 2000, we perceived the increasingly stressful and anxiety provoking effects of modern day living and felt an urgent need to make ourselves available to the scores in the society needing assistance, guidance and patient listening to their mental health concerns. However we also realized that omnipresence though is important but is difficult to achieve with such a less number of trained taskforce available in mental health service delivery in our country. Our efforts to address the need soon took over the form of a mental health helpline which we proudly address as SAATH. SAATH is a telephonic medium through which we deliver valuable psychological services to the callers. Saath has been widely publicized in newspaper articles as mental health helpline by Manas Foundation, time over time by leading newspapers such as Times of India and Navbharat times being the most recent within their articles on depression.
Our psychologists receive anywhere between 10 – 15 calls in a day. The most prevalent problems range from depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, low self esteem, anxiety attacks, suicidal ideation and issues of dealing with people with mental illness by family members. Through SAATH, we spend time to listen, understand and provide support to the callers. Myths are dispelled around mental health issues and psycho education is provided to the callers to sensitize them about their current concerns and adequate steps to be taken are suggested. Information on availability of resources within the community for their assistance is also provided. We ensure that each caller is attended to with utmost sensitivity and care.
The highlight of the helpline is that it frees the callers from the stigma attached with mental illnesses by maintaining anonymity and confidentiality and hence they are able to initiate the primary first level interaction for seeking help. Post the telephonic counseling, through sensitization, psycho-education and support they are able to understand the normality of their concerns and an evident constructive shift in their help seeking behavior is immediately perceived.
Saath is a humble initiative in responding to the overwhelming mental health demands of the society at large and the response from the society is a strong indicator of the need to understand and address the issues of mental health in a de-stigmatized and a sensitive environment.
For any assistance regarding mental health you can call us on our helpline number: 01141708517 between 10 AM to 5 PM