MANAS App: Principal Scientific Advisor launches app to promote mental wellbeing

The initial version of the MANAS App will focus on promoting positive mental health in the age group of 15-35.

Created On: Apr 15, 2021 11:20 ISTModified On: Apr 15, 2021 11:20 IST
MANAS App

The Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan on April 14, 2021, launched the ‘MANAS App’ in order to promote mental wellbeing across all the age groups in the country.

The initial version of the MANAS App will focus on promoting positive mental health in the age group of 15-35.

According to the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor, MANAS, which stands for Mental Health and Normalcy Augmentation System, was endorsed as a National Program by the Prime Minister’s Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council.

While speaking on the occasion, Professor Raghavan stated that MANAS App must be integrated with the public health schemes such as National Health Mission, e-Sanjeevani, and Poshan Abhiyan so that it is widely used. He also added that the app must be made multilingual.

MANAS App: Key Highlights

MANAS is a scalable, comprehensive, and national digital well-being platform and app that has been developed to promote the mental well-being of Indian citizens.

The app integrates the health and wellness efforts of various government ministries of India as well as scientifically validated indigenous tools with gamified interfaces which are developed by various research institutions and national bodies.

It was initiated by the Indian Government’s Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor and was jointly executed by AFMC (Armed Forces Medical College), Pune, NIMHANS Bengaluru, and C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) Bengaluru.

MANAS App is based on core psychological processes and life skills.

What is Mental Health?

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of well-being in which the person realizes his or her own abilities, is able to cope with the normal stresses of life, can make a contribution to his or her community, and can work productively and fruitfully.

If one looks from the perspectives of positive psychology, mental health includes a person’s ability to enjoy life as well as creating a balance between life activities and efforts in order to achieve psychological resilience.

The subjective assessments, cultural differences, and competing professional theories all affect how one defines mental health. It ultimately leaves to our own understanding of how we perceive and negotiate with it.

Mental Health in India:

The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 was passed in India on April 7, 2017. It came into force on May 29, 2018. This act had effectively decriminalized the attempted suicide which was earlier punishable under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.

With the changing scenarios, in India, the work on mental health still lags behind. Even with government efforts, it appears to be something that is still not considered to be discussed in an open space.

However, as the awareness increase, particularly in metropolitan cities, there is a hope that mental health will soon get a safe place in the community where it will not be considered a taboo and will be taken as a serious health issue.

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