The Police Commissioner of Chennai, R. Natarajan, inaugurated the helpline at the control room in Commissionerate in Chennai. Natarajan said, “This helpline has been started to provide special attention to mentally disabled.” The mental health helpline would be in addition to a helpline for women, the aged, children, and to lodge complaints against noise pollution (which are already functioning).
The police roped in The Banyan, an organisation working for mentally disabled women, to man the helpline. Information on mental disability would be referred to a special unit. “Anybody can call the number 100 and pass on information regarding people who might need special attention. A special unit comprising the Commissioner of Police or Magistrate, refers the patients to a rehabilitation centre,” Natarjan added
Last year, 23 mentally ill patients referred to the police were sent for treatment. This year, the police has received 16 phone calls seeking reference.
The Federation for the Welfare of the Mentally Retarded (India) celebrated the National Day for the mentally disabled at Sahan School, where 11 special education schools participated on the occasion. Noted artist and philanthropist, Sterre Sharma, graced the function as chief guest.
Students from various schools presented cultural programmes; a painting competition was also organised on the occasion.