Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 645-649

Making the most of Mental Healthcare Act 2017: Practitioners' perspective


1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Spandana Health Care, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vijaykumar Harbishettar
Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_98_19

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The Mental Healthcare Act (MHCA) 2017, after parliamentary approval in 2017, came into effect from May 29, 2018. It is rights-based and empowers the patients to make their own choices unless they become incapacitous due to mental illness. There is much emphasis on the protection of human rights of persons with mental illness. The act provides a framework and regulation on how a person with mental illness should be treated. The experts, on multiple occasions, have debated on whether the act is a boon or a bane for the practitioners in India. The MHCA 2017 brings about more impetus on documentation, unlike the previous acts. With the act in place, clear documentation with reasons for decisions made and care given are important for good practice. Although this may potentially raise the cost of care, this will ensure a safer practice of psychiatry and will prove beneficial for the patients and the psychiatrists. To comply with the provisions of the act, one will have to modify the manner in which one carries out the day-to-day practice. Regular training through workshops is required to understand the practical implications of different provisions of the act. Furthermore, regular peer group meetings may give a sense of support and an opportunity to learn from one another and help find solutions to difficult aspects. Overall, following this and adapting to the new act may bring uniformity in practice. This article aims to explore ways to leverage the MHCA 2017 from the practitioner's perspective.



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