Union finance minister in her budget speech took cognisance that the pandemic has affected the mental health in people of all ages
The Centre in order to address the mental health challenges, will be launching Tele Mental Health programme
Under the programme, a network 23 tele mental health centers with NIMHANS being the nodal center
Union finance minister Niramala Sitharaman on February 1, 2022 presented the Union Budget for the financial year FY23. The finance minister in her budget speech claimed that this budget will lay foundations for reading India for the 100th year of Independence.
In her speech, addressing the pandemic induced mental health challenges, the finance minister said that the Central government will be launching a national tele mental health programme.
“The pandemic has accentuated mental health problems in people of all ages. To better the access to quality mental health counseling and care services, a national tele mental health programme will be launched,” the minister added.
Further explaining the programme, she said a network of 23 tele medi mental health centers of excellence will be operated, with NIMHANS being the nodal center. She further added that International Institute of Information technology, Bengaluru (IIIT) will provide technology support.
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A study by KFF.org published in February 2021, found that many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being due to the ongoing pandemic, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%).
Indian startups last year have taken few steps to help their employees with mental health issues. For instance food delivery giant Swiggy brought in 4-day flexible work week, while Paytm announced salaries for the family members of deceased for the financial year and job opportunity. Edtech giant BYJU’s announced INR 20 Cr fund for COVID-related expenses.