The Parliament passed the Mental health care bill on 27th March. JP Nadda , Union Health Minister major think tank behind this bill.
The Bill decriminalises suicide and states that suicide attempt is due to severe stress and hence the person cannot be punished. It is the duty of the Government to provide care, treatment rehabilitation of the person involved here. The bill is estimated to reduce suicide rates.
The Bill states, “Notwithstanding anything contained in Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code”
JP Nadda stated that the new Bill is patient centric and protect the rights of the persons involved. The bill also provides free treatment to patients who are poor. The bill is also women-centric and states that children cannot be separated unless it’s necessary. Mental Health Review Commission and Board will be set up to review the rules from time to time and advise the government on protection of the Rights of mentally ill persons. The body will be set up in every district. The mentally ill person cannot be chained and Electro-Convulsive therapy will be used with the minors.
The Major force behind the bill is the ratification of United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities in 2007 by the Government of India.