Maharashtra govt, BMC to launch a 24x7 helpline to address mental health during Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on April 04, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a large impact on the mental health of Indians, with many feeling unsafe, leading to a rise in anxiety and stress. To alleviate these mental health concerns, Mpower, an Indian mental healthcare institute has partnered with the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to launch a toll-free helpline number called ‘BMC-Mpower 1on1’ that will be available to citizens 24x7.

The number is toll-free and the helpline comprises experienced and trained mental health counsellors, who are clinical psychologists and psychiatrists from Mpower.

The service is available in Marathi, Hindi, and English to address any mental health concerns faced by citizens of Maharashtra during these trying times. The state government and BMC will mobilise support by using its infrastructure, communication channels, and social media platforms to propagate the ‘BMC-Mpower 1on1’ helpline and appeal to the people of Maharashtra to avail this free service.

Aditya Thackeray, State Cabinet Minister of Environment, Tourism, and Protocol, said, “These are times when the world is seeing an unprecedented crisis that the human race has never imagined or faced before. As a result, everyone has been forced to stay at home to stay safe.”

He added that although this lockdown has given many a rare opportunity to bond and spend time with families, there will also be a sense of anxiety, disappointment, and anger with the future of the global economy andjobs.

He said, “The Maharashtra Government is launching a helpline for better mental health, fully supported and equipped by Mrs. Neerja Birla. I’m thankful to her and Mpower for their addition to our efforts, which will turn out to be most crucial for all in the coming times.”

According to Praveen Pardeshi, Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent government-mandated national lockdown, the authorities have observed an increase in mental health concerns. Amidst the social isolation, people tend to feel lost and don’t know how to reach out and express themselves.

He said, “To make mental healthcare more accessible and provide a trusted platform, we have partnered with Mpower, a leading mental health service provider to launch this toll-free helpline. We encourage citizens of Maharashtra to make use of this service, to come out stronger as we battle this outbreak together.”

“With BMC-Mpower 1on1 helpline, we aim to increase awareness about mental health and make it more accessible to the citizens of Maharashtra,” said Mrs. Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson, Mpower.

The Maharashtra government initiative will be providing counseling and therapies virtually through telephonic conversations, online chats, video calling to help them overcome this phase. Additionally, Mpower has also been sharing health advisories and tips to parents, young professionals and families to better handle everyday situations.

Published on April 04, 2020

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