World Mental Health Day : It is Okay Not To Be Okay

Posted in Featured, National, Northeast


Priyanka Sarkar 

On the occasion of “Mental Health Day”, let’s talk about the subject, that deserves greater concern in India, especially throughout Northeastern regions. With the extensive surge in urbanization, adapting with the fast-paced lifestyles, complexities in living, breakdown due to emotions, stress, poverty, lack of facilities, excessive usage of drugs and narcotic substances, also an introvert temperament has somehow burdened the mental health issues on the society.

But the issue emerges when people term it as ‘taboo’. Disorders are often depicted through chronic physical illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Let’s talk about something (basically no one cares to talk about) something very important when one face mental health disorders :

Break myths about introversion: Introversion doesn’t depict to be ‘shy’ or ‘disliking people’. Been introvert portrays an individual who is not nervous, but too much-socializing tires them out. So, please come ahead and talk to people, talk to your loved ones, meet a counselor. Please don’t try to hide your feelings & emotions.

Carry on the habit of exercise: Do exercise/meditation/yoga – some perfect tools to boost up your self-esteem, have a lot of sleep. Keep all your stress away and have some time to embrace the positivity you possess.

Take a break: A break out of everything that doesn’t let you admire your surroundings. Spend some time in nature, Travel, Do anything you love to, i.e. “Just Be You”.

Ask for Help: We human beings, sometimes get tired of trying, but things just don’t work out. So, come out and ask for help. Ask your loved ones how to cope-up with stuff.

Whereas, mental illnesses increase the risk of suicides – a serious issue that governance needs to get through, and help generate awareness among residents.

Concerned authorities, health experts, stakeholders need to shout out from the global platforms and let the masses understand the disastrous impact that might loom on the life of an individual if mental health checkups are not initiated as the topmost priority.

Usually regarded to be a taboo: a non-fatal burden, mental health issues in India is highly ignored. With times, there has been a steady rise in the scale, depicting the eight Northeastern states as a victim to its impact.

This scale has increased with the sudden breakdown of COVID-19. The psychological effects of this pandemic proliferated in terms of social isolation and lockdown, psychological response to the diagnosis and also the aftermath of the infection. Telecounselling and Remote Therapy stood to be a solution now.

To curb this, The Union Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry launched a 24/7 toll-free mental health Rehabilitation Helpline “KIRAN” (1800-599-0019) to support people facing the severity of mental health issues. The National Rural Health Mission (NHRM)’s a list of 18 states comprising all eight Northeastern States and its subject to suicide cases have been a matter of debate now.

Arunachal Pradesh: As per an SOP for COVID-19 issued by the Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Directorate of Health Services, a mental health helpline no: 080 46110007 (Toll-Free No.) was provided under the recommendation of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS). Similarly, this issue was also addressed at a webinar organized by Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority (APSLSA) on the occasion of World Mental Health Day.

However, recently the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Chief Secretary of the state to ensure promotion and protection of rights to the mental health of common residents.

Assam: The government of Assam under the COVID-19 Advisory has issued the Assam Police and Guwahati Medical College Hospital (GMCH) Helpline Numbers for Mental Health Care & Support.

6026901053/54/55(First Shift: 9 am – 3 pm)

6026901056/57/58(Second Shift: 3 pm – 9 pm)

Manipur: Manipur Government released helpline nos. for psychological counseling. Addressing the issue, it stated that anyone from the state can avail of free counseling service via the attached Helpline Nos. (8787457035, 9402751364 & 7629943596)

According to Additional Health Director, Dr. K. Sasheekumar Mangang, the team will provide Tele counselling while maintaining the confidentiality of the caller.

Earlier, the Health Department had also initiated and set up a 24X7 toll free helpline no. : 1800-345-3818 for psychological help and counselling during the pandemic.

Meghalaya: The Mental health services in Meghalaya has gradually covered all seven district of the state- East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, Ri-Bhoi, Jaintia Hills, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills, South Garo Hills.

Meghalaya setting up Northeast’s first de-addiction center has played a significant role to mark depression caused by the consumption of drugs and other narcotics substances. Run by Kripa Foundation through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model with the state’s Social Welfare Department, this center aims to reach out to a large number of children and adolescents in the community.

The government of Meghalaya’s, Health & Family Welfare Department, launched a helpline number, 108 after this issue was addressed by the Psycho-Social Support Units active in all districts.

Nagaland: Given the recent surge in Mental health cases, The Government of Nagaland under the COVID-19 War Room has launched Helpline No-1800 345 0019 (one need to press 2 on his/her phone to speak to a counselor) for issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, etc. [Shift: 7 AM-9 PM].

Sikkim: To address the mentioned issue, two helpline nos.- 03592-202111 & 18003453225 is been installed by the Sikkim Police. Also the Government of Sikkim, Social Justice & Welfare Department has issued the no. of Sanjeevani Rehabilitation Centre, Namchi, a centre that sort out problems like alcoholism and addiction among masses and different classes of the society by coordinating with the police, Hospitals, District Courts and Panchayats, and running Detoxification and Rehabilitation Center.

Contact No: 9832557651/9832032890


Tripura: Tripura Government launched Helpline No. 0381-241-0053 from Monday to Saturday which is available between 10 AM and 4 PM for school students of Class I-XII.

It is important to take care of yourselves, and believe in inner peace. Be yourself, stop being the person the society wants you to be and we NET team just want to say to all our readers “Everything Will Be Fine, Believe In Yourself”.

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