Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 347-355

A Decade with the Mental Health Act, 1987

Consultant Psychiatrist, 20/380, Footnote Road, Trichur-680004, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
James T Antony
Consultant Psychiatrist, 20/380, Footnote Road, Trichur-680004, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 21407970

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The Mental Health Act, 1987 came into force in 1993. Mental Health Authorities that were created by this Act are useful, but the present situation of not having Government Mental Hospitals under the scrutiny of these authorities is a shortcoming. The high capital needed for upgradation of Government mental hospitals; is likely to be found, only with the intervention of Mental Health Authorities Creation of a funding agency of Government of India is also needed Denying profoundly retarded persons access to a psychiatric hospital is a hard situation. Psychiatric patients in general hospitals' having to face the hassles of mental hospital admission is against the spirit of the act and needs to be remedied Courts' directly determining the presence of psychiatric illness in persons is not serving the end of justice. They should do this on the basis of evidence Several avoidable hardships that may be caused by having the act in the present form has to be corrected This could be done by amendment of the act in certain cases by approaching the High Court in certain others and by thoughtfully framing the State Mental Health Rules in a quite a few other situations. The success of Mental Health Act, 1987 is in its effectiveness to ensure basic human rights of mental patients. A set of Mental Health Rules, that incorporates adequate provisions to protect human rights of patients, in all respects, can go a long way to strengthen the Mental Health Act.



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