mental health act

Mental Health Act 2017 Important Rights That You Need to Know

You may not have heard, but the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 will change how we treat mental illness in the U.S. As someone who occasionally deals with anxiety, I was pleased to hear about mental health act. This law protects mental illness patients’ rights and makes treatment simpler. In clear language, I’ll explain the Act’s changes, how it will affect people seeking treatment, and how it affects families attempting to aid loved ones with mental health difficulties. You’ll grasp legislation that might affect you or your loved ones. So read on for the details!

Overview of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017

The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 took effect in India on May 29, 2018. It superseded the 1987 Mental Health Act. Better mental health treatment and services are the goal of the new Act.

Key aspects of the Act include decriminalizing suicide and removing legal sanctions for attempts. People who attempt suicide will be deemed to have mental illness and not face prosecution. This protects the rights of those with mental illness, including anonymity, access to medical information, and excellent treatment. Patients can also appoint decision-makers.

• The law prohibits chaining, confinement, and brutal treatment of patients and mandates government mental health care. This ensures enough psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and psychiatric social workers.

• Enables advance directives for mental illness treatment if unable to make informed decisions. • Requires insurance companies to cover mental sickness as well as physical illness. This makes mental health therapy more inexpensive and accessible.

The Act is an excellent start to progressive mental health policy and service change. The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 is a beautiful start to protecting the rights of persons with mental illness, but awareness, stigma, and infrastructure all need improvement. The legislation provides mental health patients hope for more excellent care, services, and welfare.

Key Provisions in the New Mental Health Act

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The 2017 Mental Healthcare Act included numerous critical elements to safeguard mental illness patients’ rights and improve their access to care. Major modifications include:

Decriminalization of Suicide

Recognizing that attempted suicide typically indicates a mental illness, the Act decriminalized it. Suicide attempters can now get mental health help instead of legal penalties.

Advance Directives

Advance directives can include treatment choices and a representative under the Act. This ensures those who cannot communicate may express their desires, allowing for better person-centered care.

Mental Health Establishments

The Act governs psychiatric hospital and nursing home registration. Facilities and treatment requirements must be met by all businesses, which will be examined routinely. This seeks to enhance mental health treatment nationwide.

Central and State Mental Health Authorities

The Act creates Central and State mental health act to execute it. These authorities will register mental health experts, regulate mental health facilities, implement programs, and minimize mental disease stigma.

Free treatment for the poor

The Act requires the government to treat low-income persons with serious mental illnesses for free. This attempts to democratize mental health care.

The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 was a major law that aligned India’s policies with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Act protects mental illness patients’ rights and improves care by decriminalizing suicide, allowing advance directives, enhancing regulation, and extending access.

Rights of Persons with Mental Illness

The Mental Treatment Act protects mental illness patients’ rights and provides mental treatment. Key rights conferred by mental health act include:

Right to Mental Health Care

Everyone has the right to government-funded mental health care. Access to the National List of Essential Drugs is included. Nobody can be denied mental health care.

Community Living Rights

Mental health patients have the right to live in the community. They can choose where to reside and cannot be compelled to.

Rights to Equality and Nondiscrimination

Mentally ill people have the right to live with dignity and equality without discrimination. Their condition cannot bar them from schools, offices, stores, public venues, etc.

Privacy and Confidentiality Rights

Everyone with mental illness deserves privacy and secrecy. No one may see their mental health information without approval. With Mental Health Act Review Board consent, confidentiality can be broken in rare cases.

Personal Liberty Rights

No one may be forced into a mental health facility. Without Mental Health Review Board approval, a mentally ill individual cannot be held for more than 24 hours. Power abuse is prevented by safeguards and checks.

Role of Mental Health Act Professionals

As a mental health consumer, you should know the different sorts of specialists and their tasks. Multiple licensed professionals can offer mental healthcare under the 2017 Mental Health Act.

• Psychiatrists are medical professionals specializing in mental health. Psychotherapy, medicine, and hospitalization are available. Psychiatrists usually have M.D.s.

• Psychologists hold a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology. Their training includes psychotherapy and counseling. Psychologists cannot prescribe drugs.

• Counselors hold an M.A. or M.S. in psychology, counseling, or similar discipline. They offer psychotherapy and counseling but cannot prescribe medicines like psychologists.

• Social workers hold a bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.W.) or master’s degree (M.S.W. or M.A.) in social work. They include case management, counseling, and resource referrals. Social workers cannot prescribe drugs.

• Psychiatrist nurses (PMHNPs) have a master’s degree and specialize in psychotherapy, counseling, and pharmaceutical prescriptions. R.N.s perform general mental health care and case management.

Professionals’ treatment methods depend on their training, experience, and skill. Ask a mental health practitioner about their credentials, approach, and experience to see whether they fit your needs. You can enhance your mental health with expert help.


What you need to know about the mental health act of 2017. This bill protects mental illness patients’ rights and dignity, while it could be better. The Act aligns India with worldwide norms by outlawing abusive practices, regulating mental health facilities, and stressing access to care. Citizen action is crucial as mental health activists fight for greater services and less stigma. Spread compassion, check on struggling loved ones, and know your rights and alternatives if you need assistance. Together, we can change attitudes and help mental health patients live happier lives.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Why does this Act exist?

The Mental Health Act of 2017 provides mental healthcare and services to people with mental health difficulties and protects, promotes, and fulfills their rights.

Who can get mental health care under this Act?

This Act allows anybody, even minors over 16, to receive mental health care and reside in a mental health facility.

What are mental illness patients’ rights under this Act?

The Act grants individuals with mental illness the right to access government-funded mental health services, equal treatment, protection from inhumane treatment, and social inclusion.

• Right to secrecy for mental health, treatment, and physical healthcare.

• Right to report shortcomings in mental healthcare and services.

• Right to legal help for exercising rights.

How do mental health facilities admit patients?

Admission to a mental health facility can be voluntary when the individual with mental illness consents.

Supported – Nominated representative consented.

Involuntary – Unconsented in some cases with proper procedure.

The Act specifies each case’s procedure to preserve mental illness patients’ rights.

Who may represent a mentally sick person?

A person with mental illness can designate an 18-year-old representative. Representatives might be family, friends, or others.

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