Stigma Attached to Mental Health

Notice Board - CLAT Entrance

Mental Health Care

The times we go through has refocussed attention to the importance of maintaining good mental health and managing stress and anxiety properly. In India, apart from the age-old stigma attached to seeking mental health, another issue is being able to afford good mental healthcare. Private mental healthcare professionals, much like any others, would be out of the reach of people who are not well off. Mental healthcare legislation in India was found to be lacking in various respects and had to be brought into conformity with the convention of the United Nations Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its optional protocol which India signed and ultimately ratified on the first of October in 2007. The mental healthcare bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in 2013 and eventually passed in 2017. The Act came into force in 2018 and is widely seen as a positive development in ensuring the proper and dignified treatment of persons who have a mental illness. This Article seeks to examine the notable provisions of the Mental Healthcare Act and the Rehabilitation Council of India Act and examine the statutory framework prevailing in India pertaining to Mental Healthcare The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 The mental healthcare Act was passed on 7th April 2017 and came into force on 7th July 2018. The purpose of the Act is "to provide for the mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto."Section 2 is the definition clause anddefines of 'mental health establishment,' 'mental illness,' 'clinical psychologists, ' etc The enactment of the Act is a welcome step in trying to ensure the maintenance of some minimum standards in mental healthcare establishments, keeping them in check and making the same access available to all classes of citizens. However, there is a need to either amend the law in a way so as to include everyone in its ambit and bring the requirements to practice up to international standards.