By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 7 July: After the nod from the central government, the cabinet under the leadership of Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, has put the stamp on the mental health manual on Friday.
Health Minister, Dr Dhan Singh Rawat, was working on this after taking charge of the department. Health Secretary, Dr R Rajesh Kumar, along with the entire team worked on it and after the approval of the Centre, the state cabinet also approved it.
After taking charge of Health Secretary, Dr Kumar has succeeded in bringing the health services in the state back on track and getting the schemes of the Center implemented on the ground fast in the state. Along with the Union Health Minister, officers from the Central Government who have come from time to time have also praised the progress of health services and central health schemes in the state.
Health Secretary Dr Kumar congratulated the entire team, including Director General Health Dr Vineeta Shah for this achievement. He said that before the formation of the mental health manual, opinions of government and non-government, intellectuals and people associated with social work were taken for this. After which its final draft was stamped.
Dr Kumar said that after the approval of the Mental Health Rules, it will be mandatory to register psychiatrists, nurses and psychiatric social workers with de-addiction centers and mental health institutes in the state. But the registration fee will not be charged by the psychiatrists. The Central Government enacted the Mental Health Care Act in 2017. Along with this, the states were also instructed to make mental health policies and rules under this act. In 2019, the government constituted the State Mental Health Authority under the Act, but due to lack of rules, the authority was unable to function. Last month, the proposal for the rules was sent by the Health Department for the permission of the Central Government. The Central Government approved the rules after examining them. Today this rule got approval in the cabinet.
De-addiction centers or mental health institutions operating in the state will compulsorily have to register with the authority. A fee will also be charged for this. There will be a fee of two thousand rupees for a temporary license of one year. After this, a fee of 20 thousand will have to be paid for permanent registration.
De-addiction centers cannot keep a mental patient hostage in a room. The patient will be kept in de-addiction centers on the advice of the doctor and will be discharged. Fees, stay and food menu will have to be displayed in the center. Psychiatrists and doctors will have to be kept for the treatment of patients. The center should have open space for mental patients. Monitoring will be done through the Mental Health Review Board at the district level. Mental patients will be given a phone facility to talk to their relatives. Apart from this, the distance from one bed to another has also been fixed in the rooms.
The Mental Health Care Act-2017 was notified by the Government of India on May 29, 2018, which has been authorized by the Government of Uttarakhand. The basic objective of this act is to protect the rights, proper treatment and protection of persons suffering from mental illness. Under this Act, State Mental Health Authority and Review Boards have been constituted at 07 places in 13 districts of Uttarakhand by the State Government. Among these, one in Haridwar district, one in Dehradun district, one in Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar district, Pauri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli district center in Srinagar Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal and Uttarkashi district in New Tehri and Bageshwar, Pithoragarh and Champawat districts the board has been constituted in Pithoragarh.
In the light of this act, the state government has prepared mental health care rules, rules and regulations for mental health institutions (including de-addiction centers) and the rights of persons suffering from mental illness, etc. It was sent for promulgation, which has been approved for promulgation of all the rules and regulations in the meeting of the Council of Ministers held today 07-July-2023.
It is mandatory for all mental health institutions (including de-addiction centers) and mental health specialists (clinical psychologists, mental health nurses and psychiatric social workers) to be registered with the State Mental Health Authority office. There is a provision of a minimum amount of Rs 2,000/- for temporary registration of mental health institutions and registration of mental health experts is to be done free of cost.
After these rules and regulations are promulgated, all mental health institutions (including de-addiction centers) will have to operate the institutions according to the rules and regulations given in them. The provision for periodic inspection and inspection of mental health institutions (including de-addiction centers) is also included in this. In cases of non-compliance or violation of the provision by any mental health institution, there is a provision of punishment in the Act.
Rs 5,000/- to Rs 50,000/- for the first violation, Rs 2,00,000/- for the second violation and Rs 5,00,000/- for repeated violations by mental health institutions (including de-addiction centers) have been specified. There is a provision for fines as punishment. There is a provision of a fine up to Rs.25,000/- on mental health professionals working in such mental health institutions (including de-addiction centers) which are not registered. If any person contravenes the provisions of the rules or regulations made under the Act, then in such case that person shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months for the first offense or with a fine which may extend to Rs.10,000/- or for both and repeated offenses with imprisonment which may extend to two years or Rs.50,000/- to Rs.5,00,000/- as fine or both. With the promulgation of these rules and regulations, people suffering from mental illness in the state will be able to get proper treatment of high quality and illegal institutions will be controlled. The Government of India and the State Government are determined to work in this area.