Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
Home | About us | Current Issue | Archives | Ahead of Print | Submission | Instructions | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact | Login 
    Users online: 3292 Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size Print this article Email this article Bookmark this page
Search Again
 Table of Contents
 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Article Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert
 Add to My List
 * Requires registration (Free)

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded547    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal

Year : 2019  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 660-666

Mental Healthcare Act 2017 – Aspiration to action

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

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vinay Basavaraju
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_91_19

Rights and Permissions

There is no health without mental health. Recently conducted National Mental Health Survey quoted a prevalence of 13.7% lifetime and 10.6% current mental morbidity. To address this mammoth problem, an aspirational law was enacted titled “Mental Healthcare Act, 2017” (MHCA 2017). The act is progressive and rights based in nature. The whole dedicated Chapter 5 on “Rights of the person with mental illness” is the heart and soul of this legislation. However, the act mainly focuses on the rights of the persons with mental illness (PMI), only during treatment in hospital but is not equally emphatic about continuity of treatment in the community. The act fails to acknowledge and foster the role and contribution of family members in providing care to PMI. Although there are many positive aspects to the MHCA 2017, it may impact adversely on the mental health care in India. This article focuses on the shortcomings and challenges of the act and also makes attempts to offer alternatives considering the available resources and ground reality. Concepts such as “Advance directives” and “Nominated representatives” appear to be very attractive, idealistic, and aspirational, but not evidenced based in the Indian context considering the resources. The act fails to make an impact even after 22 months to attain the goal, and will require pervasive efforts to fulfil a purpose that directs its development. This law needs to be amended as per the local resources and requirements of the society.



Print this article         Email this article