Recently, on August 15, 2021 the Ministry of Women and Child Developmentlaunched 2nd phase of SAMVAD programmein Bengaluruand commemorated the successful completion of one year of SAMVAD - Support, Advocacy & Mental health interventions for children in Vulnerable circumstances And Distress.
Update in SAMVAD 2.0
SAMVAD will engage with functionaries in Panchayats thereby ushering in a silent revolution in addressing psychosocial challenges amongst vulnerable children.
SAMVAD is slated to begin work with Panchayati Raj systems to:
Integrate child protection and mental health in aspirational districts across the country; and
Facilitate awareness generation and improve service delivery at the grassroot level
Its new initiatives with regards to mental health and psychosocial care of children in difficult circumstances have encompassed:
Specialized training curriculum on childhood trauma;
Interventions for children in conflict with the law;
Forensics in child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health; and
Education and mental health support to children with special needs, protection and care
About SAMVAD Initiative
SAMVAD is a National Initiative and Integrated Resource that works in child protection, mental health and psychosocial care.
Funded By: The initiative is funded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
Implementing Body: It is led by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS).
The NIMHANS is the apex centre of mental health and neuroscience education. It operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Purpose: It is a national initiative and integrated resource that works in child protection, mental health and psychosocial care of children in difficult circumstances.
It encompasses a specialized training curriculum on childhood trauma, interventions for children in conflict with the law, forensics in child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health.
Under the Programme, training is being provided to Child Protection Functionaries, tele-counsellors, educators, law professionals among others. The training will be provided to cope mechanisms for children in distress.
Status of Mental Health Problem in India
A study by the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative(2017) showed that the disease burden in India due to mental disorders increased from 2.5% in 1990 to 4.7% in 2017 in terms of DALYs (disability-adjusted life years), and was the leading contributor to YLDs (years lived with disability) contributing to 14.5% of all YLDs in the country.
As of 2021, only a few states included a separate line item in their budgets towards mental health infrastructure.
After the passing of the Act in 2017, budget estimates for the National Mental Health Program increased from Rs. 3.5 million in 2017-18 to Rs. 5 million in 2018-19 and it was reduced to Rs. 4 million in 2019-20; where several reports have indicated the worsening of mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Government’s effort to reduce the burden of Mental Disorder in India
To address the burden of mental disorders, the Government of India is implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) since 1982.
The Government has also enacted the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, which aims at protection and promotion of the rights of persons with mental illness during the delivery of health care in institutions and in the community.
It also ensures health care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness within a rights based framework to achieve the greatest public health good.