Mental Health Bill,2016 Passed by Parliament (Download PDF)

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The Indian Parliament has passed the Mental Healthcare Bill, 2016 that says about suicide not being a criminal activity by the mentally ill people and it guarantees the right to better healthcare for the people suffering from mental illness. It was passed in first in Rajya Sabha in August 2016 and later in Lok Sabha in March 2017. The assent of president is remaining for now. The first bill on mental health was framed as per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which India is signatory. The Bill has guidelines which provide approach based on rights to mental illness by consolidating and safeguarding the rights of fundamental human rights of the patients. In India, around 6 to 7 % of the population suffers from some kind of mental illnesses, while 1 to 2 % suffers from acute mental disease.

Parliament Passes Mental Health Bill

Parliament Passes Mental Health Bill

Parliament Passes Mental Health Bill

What is United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

  • It is an international human rights treaty of the United Nations
  • It protects the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities
  • Nations that have engrossed themselves in this are required to promote, protect and ensure the full enjoyment of human rights by persons with disabilities
  • The convention was the first human rights treaty of the 3rd millennium
  • It has an explicit sustainable development dimension.
Image shows Committee on the right of persons with Disabilities

Image Shows Committee on the Right of Persons with Disabilities

Image shows Committee on the right of persons with Disabilities

Key features of the bill

  • The bill provides right to access mental healthcare from services operated or funded by the government
  • It includes the services for good quality, easy and affordable access.
  • It has a right to equality of treatment, protections from inhuman treatment, accessibility to free legal services, medical records and right to complain in case of deficiencies in provisions.
  • It helps them to have right to make an advance directive that explains how they want to be treated for the requisite illness and nominate their representative
  • The entire mental health establishment must register with the respective Central or State Mental Health Authority.
  • It also gives guidelines for the procedure and process for admission, treatment and subsequent discharge of mentally ill persons
  • It concentrates on treatment on communal basis and special provision for women and health
  • It will be quasi-judicial body responsible for reviewing procedure for making advance directives. It will advise the government on the protection of rights of mentally ill persons’.

- Published/Last Modified on: April 14, 2017

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