Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 351-354

New legislation, new frontiers: Indian psychiatrists' perspective of the mental healthcare act 2017 prior to implementation

1 Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin D24 NR0A, Ireland
2 Neuro Centre AN Magadh Medical College, Gaya, Bihar, India
3 Academic Section, Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Richard M Duffy
Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Centre for Health Sciences, Tallaght Hospital, Tallaght, Dublin D24 NR0A
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_45_18

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Context: The mental healthcare act 2017 represents a complete overhaul of Indian mental health legislation. Aims: The aim of this study was to establish the opinions of Indian psychiatrists regarding the new act. Settings: Mental health professionals in Bihar and Jharkhand were interviewed. Design: A focus group design was utilized. Materials and Methods: Key questions explored the positive and negative aspects of the act and the management of the transitional phase. All focus groups were recorded and transcribed. Analysis: Data were coded and analyzed using an inductive approach. Results: Many positive aspects of the new legislation were identified especially relating to rights, autonomy, and the decriminalization of suicide. However, psychiatrists have significant concerns that the new legislation may negatively impact patients and increase stigma. Psychiatrists held varying views on the proposed licensing and inspection of general hospital psychiatric units. Conclusions: Careful evaluation of the new legislation is needed as the concerns raised warrant ongoing monitoring.



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