The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

People with disabilities requires extra care and protection in a society from others. Anyone with a physical disability is always visible but it is not the same plight with someone who has a mental disability or mental illness that may appear only on certain situations. Even in a progressive society people with mental disability is still ill-treated for no reasons. Several mental care procedures were taken by government through various awareness programs and legislation there was not much positive responses were shown to them and this paved the way of the new Mental Health care act 2017 with the objective of providing entire legal protection for people with mental disorder or illness through proper mental health and services or any other matter related to such persons.

The act is elaborative and comprehensive in 16 chapters and 126 sections which came in to force on 7th April 2017 defining the various aspects of diagnosing mental condition of any person and the treatment concerned provided to them in order to aid them to be the part of the mainstream society. The act confers the authority of imparting services of mental health care professionals including psychiatrist, clinical psychologists, nurses and aid from the judicial side to protect their legal human rights. The most important part of the act is Chapter 2 which clearly defines the determination of the mental illness of a person regardless of their social, political, cultural, religious, racial, educational or financial background and also empowers the person who is not a minor with mental illness to take decision on their treatment provided if they found capable on making a decision on their treatment. Chapter 3 enables advance directive by a person to disclose their anticipation on mode of treatment to the concerned authority.

Chapter 4 exclusively deal with the nomination and revocation of authorized representative of an affected other than minors. Any person with mental illness is has the rights conferred by the Act to access all possible health care treatments including sheltered protection, affordable treatment costs or any supported accommodation in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Section 19 of the act deals with the right of a mental health affected person to have a communal living to enable them to live as a part of the society and section 20 states the protection of the dignity of mentally ill person from inhuman, different or cruel treatment from other people.

The act provides the governmental duties from a responsible Government for the promotion of mental health care to take care of affected people through various mental health care awareness and preventive programs.

The Mental Health Care Act 2017 had a great impact as it had repealed several obsolete sections of previous Mental Health care act of 1983 and 1987. The Act of 2017 obviously has several provisions ensuring justice to the dignity of life of mentally ill person legally, politically, socially and above all considers the humanitarian value of such less fortunate people with the noble aim of providing betterment in their life in a society.

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