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The right to mental healthcare: India moves forward

  • Richard M. Duffy (a1) and Brendan D. Kelly (a2)
Abstract

In 2018, India's Mental Healthcare Act 2017 granted a legally binding right to mental healthcare to 1.3 billion people, in compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Many countries, including the UK, ratified the Convention but only India has stepped up to the mark so dramatically.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence: Brendan D. Kelly, Department of Psychiatry, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin 24, Ireland. Email: brendan.kelly@tcd.ie
References
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1World Health Organization. Advancing the right to health: the vital role of law. World Health Organization, 2017.
2World Health Organization. WHO Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). Available at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/mhgap/en/ (accessed 3 October 2018).
3Gururaj, G, Varghese, M, Benegal, V, Rao, GN, Pathak, K, Singh, LK, et al. National mental health survey of India, 2015–16: prevalence, patterns and outcomes (NIMHANS publication no. 129). National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, 2016.
4Peer, RF. Right to healthcare: the way forward. J Family Med Prim Care 2013; 2: 48.
5Duffy, RM, Kelly, BD. India's Mental Healthcare Act, 2017: content, context, controversy. Int J Law Psychiatry 2018 (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2018.08.002).
6Sachan, D. Mental health bill set to revolutionise care in India. Lancet 2013; 382: 296.
7Duffy, RM, Kelly, BD. Concordance of the Indian Mental Healthcare Act 2017 with the World Health Organization's Checklist on Mental Health Legislation. Int J Ment Health Syst 2017; 11: 48.
8Kelly, BD. Mental health, mental illness, and human rights in India and elsewhere: what are we aiming for? Indian J Psychiatry 2016; 58: S16874.
9Gupta, N, Basu, D. The Mental Healthcare Bill 2016: exotic in nature, quixotic in scope … but let's take the plunge, shall we? Natl Med J India 2016; 29: 317–20.
10Narayan, CL, Shekhar, S. The Mental Health Care Bill 2013: a critical appraisal. Indian J Psychol Med 2015; 37: 215–9.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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The right to mental healthcare: India moves forward

  • Richard M. Duffy (a1) and Brendan D. Kelly (a2)
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eLetters

Challenges for the implementation of Mental Health Care Act 2017

AMAN MEHTA, PSYCHIATRIST, Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences, New Delhi
13 February 2019

I am extremely delighted to learn and read how the authors have elaborated regarding the National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-16 and India’s Mental health care Act 2017. As the Indian government states that the new mental health care act will give access to all the sections of the society. The government also intends to ‘integrate mental health services into general healthcare’. As India has a large population of 1.3billion people there might be certain difficulties to implement the act.

As we all are aware that there is a dearth of psychiatrists and mental health staff to cater the needs of the large population. We also know that there are remedies and treatments available in Ayurveda and other traditional methods that are practiced in India.

I would like to take the authors view how would he recommend the Indian government and the Indian Psychiatric society to function when there is a big treatment gap across the country. It will be also be challenging to incorporate Mental health care act for the remedies and management options provided by Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy establishments in the coming days.

What would be the authors view - India with a diverse culture, and to align mental health services that are in par with higher income economic countries.
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Conflict of interest: None declared

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