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THE MENTAL HEALTHCARE ACT, 2017

Passed in April 2017, this act aims to protect the rights of individuals suffering from any sort of mental illness. It describes a mental illness as "a substantial disorder of thinking, mood and perception, orientation, or memory that grossly impairs judgement, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life." Here's everything you need to know...

 

THE BILL ENSURES THAT EVERY PERSON NOW HAS EQUAL RIGHTS TO ACCESS MENTAL HEALTHCARE WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF GENDER, SEX, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, RELIGION, CASTE, BELIEFS, OR DISABILITY.

ANY PERSON SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS, NOW HAS THE RIGHT TO ENSURE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THEIR MENTAL HEALTH, MENTAL HEALTHCARE, TREATMENT AND PHYSICAL HEALTHCARE.

A PERSON WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS IS NOW ABLE TO HAVE AN 'ADVANCED DIRECTIVE' THAT ELABORATES HOW THEY WISH TO BE TREATED FOR THEIR ILLNESS. THE SERVICE PROVIDER, THOUGH, MAINTAINS THE RIGHT TO REQUEST A REVIEW BY THE MENTAL HEALTH BOARD, IF THEY DON'T WANT TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTIVE.

THE BILL ENSURES THAT ALL INSURANCE PROVIDERS MAKE SUITABLE PROVISIONS TO ALLOW COVERAGE OF MENTAL ILLNESS TREATMENTS, THE SAME WAY THEY ALLOW COVERAGE FOR PHYSICAL INJURIES AND TREATMENTS.

ANOTHER NOTABLE AMENDMENT MADE BY THE BILL IS DECRIMINALIZING SUICIDE, ENSURING THAT NO PERSON WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS CAN BE SUBJECTED TO ELECTRO-CONVULSIVE THERAPY WITHOUT THE USE OF ANESTHESIA, AND MANDATING THAT PHYSICAL RESTRAINT MAY ONLY BE USED IF ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.