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Using Technology to build India’s Mental Health Workforce.


2021 - 2024


Madhya Pradesh, India


Dr. Ravindra Agarwal and Dr. Anant Bhan.



Empower actively strengthens mental health initiatives by training ASHA workers in counseling for depression and perinatal depression. Utilizing digital training, ASHA workers gain flexibility to enhance their skills despite busy schedules, learning at their own pace. Engaging in Madhya Pradesh, EMPOWER supports digitally trained ASHA workers in delivering counseling sessions within their villages. ASHA workers receive continual motivation and guidance through ongoing supervision, ensuring a consistent and supportive framework. This initiative empowers ASHA workers to effectively address mental health challenges in their communities, enhancing accessibility and quality of care.


The program builds on and converges on three strands of science: clinical science demonstrating the effectiveness of brief psychosocial interventions; implementation science demonstrating the effectiveness of the delivery of such interventions by community health workers or other cadres of NSPs; and pedagogical science demonstrating the effectiveness of digital approaches for training and quality assurance.

Progress till date

The project is divided into 3 phases

Phase 1: Digital training for HAP- A total of 1001 ASHA’s were trained digitally to learn about counseling for depression (HAP- Healthy Activity Program)

Phase 2: The trained ASHA workers initiated community screenings and offered counseling to approximately 2456 patients who tested positive for depression across the three districts of Madhya Pradesh and Digitization of THPP.

Phase 3: The HAP-trained ASHA provided counselling to 1616 patients and 450+ Asha’s were trained on THPP, who delivered counselling to 638 patients. 


National Health Mission, Government of Madhya Pradesh, India


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