Mental health support forums are being set up in government medical colleges to address the mental health and well-being of medical students across the State. As part of this, mental health ambassadors will be trained and an exclusive helpline launched to enable students in need of counselling to connect with a psychiatrist immediately.
On Monday, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian launched the initiative, “ Manam”, at Madras Medical College. Under this, “Mind Health Support Forum - Mananala Nallaatharavu Mandram” are being set up in all government medical colleges, nursing colleges and allied health sciences institutions, according to a press release.
The objective was to address the mental health issues in medical students and ensure their mental well-being. In the first phase, forums will be established in medical colleges after which it will be expanded to other colleges.
As part of this, teams comprising the college dean, heads of departments, including those of psychiatry, assistant professors and students would be formed to take efforts to improve the mental health of the students. Students and teachers would be enrolled as members of the forums on a voluntary basis and trained, and later act as mental health ambassadors to train other teachers and students of the institution.
Refresher courses on values in life would be held for students. Their talents would be identified and opportunities to improve their talents would be created.
Manam helpline will be launched in all medical colleges to assist students, who require counselling and help them immediately contact a psychiatrist without any hesitation, the release said.
Health Secretary P. Senthilkumar and Mission Director of National Health Mission-Tamil Nadu Shilpa Prabhakar Sathish were present.