law related to mental health in india


In the current time of COVID-19 pandemic, mental health is an issue that has hugely and drastically affected the individuals all over the world. People are facing stress, anxiety and depression because of the disruption in their daily routine.


Now “Mental Health” and “Mental Illness” are two different psychological terms but often used as they represent the same meaning, but they do not stand for the same thing. Mental health is about mental wellness-we all have mental health whereas Mental illness is when someone is diagnosed with mental disorder.


According to WHO, “Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with normal stress of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

In other words mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral and emotional well being. It defines about how an individual think, feel and behave.


Mental health workforce in India (per 100,000 of population) includes psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12), psychologists (0.07) and social workers is very low. For laws related to mental health the Mental Health Care Bill 2013 was introduced to Rajya Sabha in August 2013 and after 134 official amendments, was passed in August 2016. Properly implemented, mental health legislation plays a significant role in protecting the rights to mentally ill, ensuring access to care and promoting social justice foe the mentally ill, their families and carers.

Mental Health Care Act 2017 was passed on 7 April 2017 and came into forces from 7 July 2018. It states that mental illness is determined “in accordance with nationally and internationally accepted medical standards (including the latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organisation) as maybe notified by the Central Government.” This Act superseded the previously existing Mental Health Act, 1987 that was passed on 22 May 1987.


To conclude, I would like to say that mental illness is a serious problem but on an individual level, we can help our friends, family and near ones by talking to them and initiating to help them to open up about their situations and let us help them to understand the root cause which can lead them to better solutions.


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