Mind Matterz

India's Mental Health Act of 2017

  • Shraddha C Sankulkar
  • 10-Oct-2022

In a country like India, that has more than 1 billion plus population, needs massive measures to regulate the masses towards development and well-being. On policies regarding Mental Health, it’s important to know what the Mental Health Act of 2017 asserts to bring about affirmative changes in the Mental Health space at the grassroot levels of the nation. Below are the highlighting points of the Act:
1) Insurance can be claimed for Mental Health related issues with proper evidence of diagnosis & treatment taken from apt mental health professional.
2) Individuals who have attempted suicide would not be considered as criminal and booked under criminal law, rather government would provide facilities to rehabilitate towards helping the individuals to work on their mental health.
3) Measures outlined to tackle stigma associated to mental health so that the masses don’t feel embarrass to approach a Psychologist/Psychiatrist or any other mental health practitioner/counselor who would help such individuals to overcome mental health issues.
4) Other government agencies like the police have been provided structured outline to deal with individuals having mental health issues.
5) Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT/Shock Therapy) not to be used as primary therapy and only to be used if there is no other alternative in treating extreme mental health issues. Usage of this therapy totally banned from being used on minors.
6) Provision of facilities to smoothly register & establish Mental Health related institution so that suffering individuals can get timely help.
The peak COVID-19 pandemic times actually opened many eyes towards giving equal importance to mental health like the way one gives to physical health. Many people were approaching mental health practitioners to gain guidance and support to deal with loneliness, anxiety and depression that seeped into their life, due to the isolation and helplessness that loomed globally. Like the quote goes, ‘Make hay when the sun is shining’, same applies to building good Mental Health. Its important to build a strong mind when ‘all is well’, so that when times are low the positive energy that one has accumulated till then, will keep one afloat even in difficult times.