Mental health facilities in India are still quite insufficient owing to the limited number of services being offered as well as, the inadequate number of trained and supervised professionals. TISS has always taken a lead in addressing the psychosocial needs of individuals across various groups and has adopted diverse strategies and solutions to address these needs. iCALL is one such step taken in the direction of mental health work.
iCALL – Initiating Concern for All is a pioneering and an empowering mental health project which was started in 2012 by School of Human Ecology, TISS – Mumbai. iCALL endeavours to provide professional and free counseling through technology assisted mediums such as, telephone, email and chat to anyone in need of emotional support, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation or race, and transcending geographical distances while ensuring confidentiality.
iCALL is primarily funded by Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI) since April 2015. Mariwala Health Initiative (MHI) is the leading funding body in the field of mental health in India. MHI aligns itself with a rights-based approach and aspires to create a holistic and universally accessible mental health ecosystem by funding mental health organizations that work on innovative, community- based interventions targeting the most marginalized.
Helpline counseling is a non-traditional form of providing mental health support. It helps in eliminating geographical limitations, is free and is completely confidential and with advancement of technology, accessing this help has become easier.
iCALL’s counseling services are run by professional, trained counsellors, from Monday to Saturday, 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. iCALL also has partnerships and collaborations with academic institutions, corporates, government and non-government bodies. Faculty from the School of Human Ecology are involved in an advisory capacity in the project, such as recruiting of counsellors, training, and monitoring and evaluation of service delivery.
When you call us you get:
- Professional counseling services – All our counselors and qualified and trained to provide skilled mental health services
- Connected to a counselor immediately – You will not encounter a busy tone or IVR during our work hours, and will be connected to a counselor immediately
- A reply to every email, tweet or Facebook message within 24-48 hours
- Complete anonymity – You do not need to share your name or personal identifying information about yourself
- Patient listening – You can speak with the counselors for as long as you wish to
- Non- judgmental treatment – You can talk to us about any issue bothering or affecting you without the fear of being judged by the counselors
- Consistent support – We will be there to support you till you feel empowered to deal with your situation or issue
Other significant work being done by iCALL includes:
- Conducting workshops and trainings for corporates, educational institutions, government agencies, and NGOs it is partnered with. The content and length of these workshops and trainings could be based on the specific needs of these organizations
- Mental health outreach activities for institutions via conferences, events, posters, brochures, and talks
- Free newsletters for the public at large which aim at awareness building and preventive work
- Our social media outreach also addresses mental health awareness for the public at large
- Employee assistance programs for corporates
- At iCALL, there is a special focus on the marginalized sections of our society such as women facing violence, children facing abuse, the LGBT community, socioeconomically marginalized groups and the survivors of mental illness.