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The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:A Radical Step Towards Sound Mental Health in India


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1 School of Law, MVN University, Palwal, Haryana, India
     

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The long awaited Mental Healthcare Act, 2016 received the assent of President of India on 7th April 2017, can be considered as a radical step for the purpose of providing for the right to better healthcare for mentally ill patients and decriminalizes attempt to commit suicide. The Act not only ensures every person`s right to have an access to mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate government but it also guarantees free treatment for all such persons who are homeless or belong to Below Poverty Line, even in the absence of BPL card. This act further reads for setting up of Central Mental Health Authority at national level and State Mental Health Authority in every State. The Act provides complete regulatory framework to fix accountability upon all the stakeholders who is either directly or indirectly dealing with mental health patients in India. This research paper attempts to examine the salient features of this act briefly and to understand the need and objectives sought to be achieved by the enactment of this Act. It furthers elaborates constitution of regulatory authorities, its powers and functions for the effective administration and implementation of this act. Finally this paper concludes in the light of some suggestion and recommendations.

Keywords

Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, Accountability, Effective, Implementation, Regulatory Authority.
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  • The Act said, “Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code.”
  • Mental Healthcare Act passed in Parliament: All you need to know, available at: http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/mental-healthcare-Act-passed-in-parliament-all-you-need-to-know-117032800401_1.html (last visited: March 28, 2017: 10 P.M.).
  • What is the Mental Healthcare Act?, available at: http://indianexpress.com/article/what-is/mental-healthcare-Act-passed-parliament-lok-sabha-4588288/ (last visited: March 28, 2017: 10 P.M.).
  • K. DeepaLakshmi, All You Need to know About the Mental Health Care Act, available at: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/all-you-need-to-know-about-the-mental-healthcare-Act/article17662163.ece (last visited: March 28, 2017: 10 P.M.).
  • Supra note 3.
  • Anoo Bhuyan, Why the Mental Healthcare Act Is An Example of Healthy Law-Making, available at: https://thewire.in/119332/mental-healthcare-Act-parliament/ (last visited: March 28, 2017: 9.30 P.M.).
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  • Rao GP, Math SB, Raju M, Saha G, Jagiwala M, Sagar R, Sathyanarayana Rao T S. Mental Health Care Act, 2016: A boon or bane?. Indian J Psychiatry 2016;58:244-9.
  • Id.
  • Id.
  • Id.
  • Avasthi A. Preserve and Strengthen Family to Promote Mental Health. Indian J Psychiatry 2010;52:113-26.
  • Id.
  • Math SB, Chandrashekar C, Bhugra D. Psychiatric epidemiology in India. Indian J Med Res 2007;126:183-92.
  • Sarin A, Murthy P, Chatterjee S. Psychiatric Advance Directives: Potential challenges in India. Indian J Med Ethics 2012;9:104-7.
  • Campbell LA, Kisely SR. Advance Treatment Directives for People with Severe Mental Illness. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009:CD005963.
  • Sarin A. On psychiatric Wills and the Ulysses Clause: The Advance Directive in Psychiatry. Indian J Psychiatry 2012;54:206-7.
  • Rao GP, Math SB, Raju M, Saha G, Jagiwala M, Sagar R, Sathyanarayana Rao T S. Mental Health Care Act, 2016: A Boon or Bane?. Indian J Psychiatry 2016;58:244-9.

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  • The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017:A Radical Step Towards Sound Mental Health in India

Abstract Views: 104  |  PDF Views: 0

Authors

Nishant Kumar
School of Law, MVN University, Palwal, Haryana, India

Abstract


The long awaited Mental Healthcare Act, 2016 received the assent of President of India on 7th April 2017, can be considered as a radical step for the purpose of providing for the right to better healthcare for mentally ill patients and decriminalizes attempt to commit suicide. The Act not only ensures every person`s right to have an access to mental health care and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate government but it also guarantees free treatment for all such persons who are homeless or belong to Below Poverty Line, even in the absence of BPL card. This act further reads for setting up of Central Mental Health Authority at national level and State Mental Health Authority in every State. The Act provides complete regulatory framework to fix accountability upon all the stakeholders who is either directly or indirectly dealing with mental health patients in India. This research paper attempts to examine the salient features of this act briefly and to understand the need and objectives sought to be achieved by the enactment of this Act. It furthers elaborates constitution of regulatory authorities, its powers and functions for the effective administration and implementation of this act. Finally this paper concludes in the light of some suggestion and recommendations.

Keywords


Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, Accountability, Effective, Implementation, Regulatory Authority.

References