Union HRD Minister, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched the MANODARPAN initiative of HRD Ministry to provide psychosocial support to students for their Mental Health and Well-being in New Delhi today. Minister of State for HRD, Shri Sanjay Dhotre also graced the occasion. Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Shri Amit Khare; Secretary, School Education and Literacy Smt Anita Karwal and senior officials of the Ministry were present on the occasion. Smt Anita Karwal made a detailed presentation about the initiative at the event.
As part of MANODARPAN initiative, Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank launched a National Toll-free Helpline (8448440632), a special special web page of MANODARPAN on the portal of HRD Ministry, and a Handbook on MANODARPAN.
Speaking on the occasion, the Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that COVID -19 is understandably a challenging time for everyone around the world. This Global pandemic is not only a serious medical concern, but also brings mixed emotions and psycho-social stress for all. With specific focus on children and adolescents, there are emerging mental health concerns that are often reported in such situations. Children and adolescents may be more vulnerable and may experience heightened level of stress, anxiety and fearfulness, along with a range of other emotional and behavioural issues.
Shri Pokhriyal informed that the HRD Ministry has felt that while it is important to focus on continuing education on the academic front, the mental well-being of the students also needs to be given equal importance. So, Ministry has taken an initiative, named, MANODARPAN covering a wide range of activities to provide Psychosocial Support to students for their Mental Health & Well-being during the COVID outbreak and beyond. He further informed that a Working Group, having experts from the fields of education, mental health and psychosocial issues as its members, has been set up to monitor and promote the mental health issues and concerns of students and to facilitate providing of support to address the mental health and psychosocial aspects during and after COVID-19 lockdown, through conselling services, online resources and helpline.
The Minister informed that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, launched the ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ABHIYAN and, the MANODARPAN initiative has been included in it, as a part of strengthening human capital and increasing productivity and efficient reform and initiatives for the Education sector.
He further stated that a Web-page named MANODARPAN– Psychosocial Support for Mental alth & Well-being during the COVID outbreak and beyond has since been created on the Web-site of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The Web-page contains advisory, practical tips, posters, podcasts, videos, dos and donts for psychosocial support, FAQs and online query system. A National Toll-free lpline (8448440632) has also been set up. This unique helpline shall be managed by a pool of experienced counselors/ Psychologists and other mental health professionals and will continue beyond the COVID-19 situation. Through this helpline tele-counselling will be provided to the students to address their mental health and psychosocial issues.
While addressing the participants Shri Dhotre said that the pandemic has affected children as well as adults psychlogically and emotionally. In such a climate, we need organised and institutionalized help. He said that the mental health has a reciprocal relationship with the well-being and productivity of a society and its members. Hence, it is essential for the well-being and functioning of individuals in such a climate we should also come forward as a more cohesive and mutually interdependent society. He also said, the MANODARPAN initiative has been included in the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan as part of a strengthening and empowering the human capital to increase productivity and efficiency through reforms and initiatives in the education sector.
He further added, the resources mobilized through the MANODARPAN initiative are envisaged to facilitate a sustainable psychological support system for students, families and teachers, and will be a great utility even in the post-corona times with proactive and preventive mental health and well-being services integrated into the mainstream of learning processes.
The following components are included in the MANODARPAN initiative:
- Advisory Guidelines for students, teachers and faculty of School systems and Universities along with families.
- Web page on the MHRD website, which will carry advisory, practical tips, posters, videos, dos and donts for psychosocial support, FAQs and online query system.
- National level database and directory of counsellors at School and University level whose services can be offered voluntarily for Tele-Counselling Service on the National Helpline.
- National Toll-free Helpline by the MHRD for a country wide outreach to students from school, universities and colleges. This unique helpline shall be manned by a pool of experienced counselors/ Psychologists and other mental health professionals and will continue beyond the COVID-19 situation.
- Handbook on Psychosocial Support: Enriching Life skills & Wellbeing of Students to be published online. The booklet will include FAQs, Facts & Myths and will also cover ways and means to manage emotional and behavioural concerns (from young children to college youth) during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
- Interactive Online Chat Platform for contact, counselling and guidance by psychologists and other mental health professionals which will be available for students, teachers, and families during COVID-19 and beyond.
- Webinars, audio-visual resources including videos, posters, flyers, comics, and short films to be uploaded as additional resource materials on the webpage. Crowd sourcing from students all over the country will be encouraged as peer support.
For Manodarpan website, click the link: http://manodarpan.mhrd.gov.in/