Around 2,500 health sub-centres have been transformed into wellness centres as part of the Centre's renewed strategy to improve mental health care services in the country.
Speaking on the occasion of the World Health Day, Union Health Minister J P Nadda today said the government is strengthening Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs) and extensive training is being provided to ASHA workers so that the Mental Health Policy is implemented in its true letter and spirit.
"We will strengthen PHCs and around 1.5 lakh sub-centres will be transformed into wellness centres. Around 2,500 centres have already been selected for a pilot," he said.
The Health ministry will also establish more institutions like Bengaluru-based NIMHANS and is also focusing on working with civil society organisations engaged in mental health care, Nadda said.
Hailing the passage of the Mental Health care Bill in the Lok Sabha, he said, "Decriminalisation of suicide is a significant facet of the Bill, which will ensure proper management of severe stress as a precursor for suicide attempts".
On the occasion, Nadda also launched the Report Book on the Centre for Well Being at NIMHANS, Psycho-social care kit for the disabled, Yoga and depression among others.
At a national consultation organised jointly by the ministry of health and WHO, awards were given to 'Public Health Champions' who have made an outstanding contribution to public health through advocacy and involvement in impactful health policies and programmes with proven public health achievements.
Highlighting the importance of the Public Health Champions awards, Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India said that public health is key to improving people's health and positive health outcomes.
"These awards are our attempt to recognise and honour talented individuals and organisations who toil hard to bring about impactful, innovative and sustainable changes in public health," Bekedem said.