October 23, 2014

Progressive Trends In Mental Health Legislation And Policy Global Perspective

It is estimated that 6-7 % of population suffers from mental disorders, together these disorders account for 12 % of the global burden of disease and  an analysis of trends indicates this will increase 15 % by 2020. One in four families is likely to have at least one member with a behavioral or mental disorder.

             Mental Health Act, came into force on 1987 which is being administered through Ministry of H&FW, GOI & State Government. The Govt. of India had launched the “National Mental Health Program” in 1982 keeping in view of the heavy burden of mental illness in the community and the absolute inadequacy of mental health care infrastructure in the country to deal with it.

           The ratification of United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by India pushed Government to bring a new Mental Health care Bill, 2013 to create much broader understanding about the rights of people with mental illness. The bill also talks about creation of Advance Directives, establishment of Mental Health Review Committee Board, Community treatment orders, decriminalization of suicide and prohibition of electro-convulsive therapy.

           In US, private health insurance companies are covering mental health and in UK, its covered using general taxation. There is a shift from group homes to supported independent housing and from institutional care to community-based care. Innovative ideas are practiced all around the globe including 24 hour crisis helpline, cost effective generic medicine production, walk in crisis centers, mobile crisis units, tele-medicine and respite centers. These innovations will push mental health field into much of a larger picture in health and create a greater impact in the policies also.




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