On April 7 2017, the President gave his vote to the Mental Healthcare Bill and with that the MENTAL HEALTH CARE ACT 2017 came to existence. This act provides for the persons who are suffering with mental illness with healthcare and services to protect their rights. This act came to existence in order to harmonize and put into alignment the local Mental Healthcare Act 1987 with the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Protocol which was adopted by the UN on December 13th, 2006 and came into force on May 3rd, 2008.
The definition of mental illness has been clearly defined in the act as "a substantial disorder of thinking, mood and perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life, mental conditions associated with the abuse of alcohol and drugs. But it doesn't regard mental retardation, a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially characterized by sub normality of intelligence, as mental illness"
'Few procedures which seems barbarian and clearly against human rights are prohibited exclusively. These procedures make mental healthcare seem to be an entirely gruesome experience but these patients need to be aware that these procedures are forbidden and that they need not be scared and come forth with the treatment in a positive attitude.
Few procedures which seems barbarian and clearly against human rights are prohibited exclusively. These procedures make mental healthcare seem to be an entirely gruesome experience but these patients need to be aware that these procedures are forbidden and that they need not be scared and come forth with the treatment in a positive attitude.
- Electro-convulsive therapy without the use of muscle relaxants and anesthesia,
- Electro-convulsive therapy for minors,
- Sterilization of men or women, when such sterilization is intended as a treatment for mental illness,
- Chained in any manner or form whatsoever.
Section 96 of the Chapter XIIV states: No psychosurgery shall be performed until:
- The informed consent of the patient on whom surgery is being performed.
- Approval from the concerned board to perform the surgery.
ROLE OF CENTRAL MENTAL HEALTH AUTHORITY
It will enlist and register all the mental healthcare institutions under the control of the Central Government, and will fund and direct quality services that need to be maintained for different types of mental institutions and list of all the medical professionals which are to be contacted in case of emergency .
DECRIMINALISATION OF ATTEMPT TO SUICIDE
In "section 115(1) 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.
(2) The Appropriate Government shall have a duty to provide care, treatment and rehabilitation to a person, having severe stress and who attempted to commit suicide, to reduce the risk of recurrence of attempt to commit suicide.
This shows how the formation of the act has allowed the sensitive care that has to be taken to such victims of suicide who are mentally stressed and unaware about their well being, this act has allowed now to take special care to such cases wherein the victim has attempted suicide due to stress or mental illness and has provided provisions through which they cater to the needs of mentally unhealthy or unfit personnel.
The present healthcare system is inefficient and we suffer from lack of infrastructure and professionals in the field, resultant of this causes degraded quality of living and healthcare of the mentally ill. The decriminalization of attempt to suicide is one of the major highlights of the act, along with the concept of Advance Directive and ban on all those treatment procedures that gave these mentally ill persons nightmares , also trying to fix the system of institutions by enlisting them and making sure they work at standards which are prescribed by the authorities in the act.
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