Mental health care Bill 2013 outline

This Article “Here’s All You Need To Know About Mental Health Care Bill 2013” is written by Ishita Mehta.

Through the recent studies it has been understood that there will be a constant increase with respect to mental illness in India. Down-the-line, Mental Health Care Bill 2013 focuses on curbing the Mental illness.

Mental illness is a form of disability which distinguish from a normal behavior pattern. Mental issue or emotional instability is an automatic mental or behavioral example that happens in an individual and is thought to bring about misery or handicap that is not expected as a feature of ordinary advancement or well being.

The Mental Health Care bill was passed in 2013 by the Rajya Sabha. The bill focuses on everyone’s right to access mental health care and facilities related to it. The bill replaces the Mental Health Act 1987. This was done in favor of the people who are mentally ill so that there can be better health services provided to these people. This bill was introduced because the existing bill was not able to fulfill the right to person with mental illness.

Mental Health Care Bill 2013- Overview

The Mental Health Care Bill 2013 has numerous positive components also which, assuming appropriately are set to revolutionize the psychological wellness in our nation. The Mental Health Care Bill 2013 guarantees the privilege of each individual to get to moderate and emotional wellness which will be financed by the government.

Every mentally ill person has the privilege to-

  • Uniformity of the treatment.
  • Protection from cruel and corrupting treatment.
  • Free lawful administrations and easily approachable for the medicinal records.
  • Special accentuation has been given to the people with mental illness and there is a different part in the Mental Health Care Bill 2013 for this reason.
  • The administration is commanded to set up great quality of emotional wellness benefits at all levels in order to guarantee everybody to have access to the mental health care services.
  • Decriminalizing suicide is another appreciated component of the Bill.

The provision which should incur most noteworthy harm to the arrangement of emotional well-being consideration conveyance, is the provision of bringing all the general hospital psychiatry unit inside the ambit of mental health establishments.

So far, as the improvement of psychiatry and psychological well-being consideration in our nation is concerned, it will bring about moving the clock in reverse.

Under the Mental Health Act 1987, there was no mention of any general hospital or nursery home which provides for psychiatric services under the definition of psychiatric hospital. Henceforth, they were restrained from obtaining a licence under the act. But, the new amended bill includes all the general psychiatry bills.

Unmodified ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) has been banned and ECT to minors can be given only after approval from the Mental Health Review Board.

 Mental Health Care Bill 2013-Features

The main positive features of the Mental Health Care bill 2013 are as follows-

  • Availability of Good Mental Health Care Services
  • The Mental Health Care bill 2013 mainly seeks that every person should get the equal and affordable services for mental care. The Services should be make available by the government itself and they’ve to be geographically accessible.
  • Mental health is a crucial issue. The Mental Health Care bill 2013 also seeks to explain the idea that mentally ill people should not travel long distances for getting mental treatments. Each district should consist of mental health clinics so that getting services can become feasible for the patients.
  • Midway homes, upheld facilities, recovery foundations are to be set up. Every one of these administrations are to be made accessible in all the general healing supported by the Government.
  •    Government Duties

The Government has planned a whole procedure to create awareness for the prevention of mental illness and to promote awareness related to mental health programs in India. The Provision of the Act are given wide exposure through open media. Government authorities including police and different officers are given training to deal with the issues present in the Act.

  • Human Rights For The Person With Mental Illness

Human rights related to the people suffering from mental illness are of utter importance. Even under the Constitution of India every person has the right to live with dignity and freedom.

  • They should be treated equally and with respect irrespective of their mental illness and in-capabilities related to the normal behavior.
  • They have the right to live with dignity and protection from any malpractices done against them.
  • Decriminalization Of Suicide
  • The act says that if any person has committed suicide he is meant to be taken as a person who has undergone serious stress and depression while committing suicide and is not liable to be charged under S 309 of Indian penal code.
  • To reduce the number of suicides, the Government has implemented programs and plans. This provision has been declared very promising as it can help in the reduction of the suicide rates.
  • Prohibition Of Unmodified Electroconvulsive Therapy

Electroconvulsive therapy is a procedure to determine seizure by giving small electric currents. It is often referred to as shock treatment.

This therapy has been banned based on the sentimental level and not based on the scientific level. This ban has stopped the usage of ECT in most of the parts and restrictions have also been regulated on the use of this therapy on a minor.

Unmodified ECT has been subject to scrutiny by human rights network .

Rights Of A Person With Mental Illness

The preamble of India ensures equal treatment to all the citizens.

  • There should not be any discrimination done on the basis of caste, creed, religion and sex.

The right also includes that the services given should be cheap and affordable to the mentally ill person. There should be a good quality of service which should be given to the mentally ill person and should not be discriminatory in nature.

  • Another important right of the mentally ill person is taking decisions.

The mentally ill person should be allowed to take his own decision irrespective of his mental health and conditions. He can communicate through talking or any kind of sign language if he wants to get the treatment done or not get it done.

  • Though, if the person is illiterate and doesn’t have knowledge about the medical background or the consequences, he can leave it on the doctors who’re supposed to treat him.
  • If the patient wants to discontinue his treatment after giving consent to do the treatment, it will be the doctor’s decision to stop the treatment or not.

Looking into this matter, we also have NR ( Nominated Representative )

  • The NR can be appointed by a mentally ill person who takes all the decisions with respect to the treatment done for the mentally ill.
  • We should keep in mind that the treatment should be based both on the knowledge of the nominated representative and the doctors.

Patients have the right to get complete information about their treatment. For poor section of mentally ill person, free treatment is also allowed and given consideration. There should not be any social stigma and they should avail all the hygienic facilities.

The whole Mental Health Care bill 2013 is primarily a right-based bill.

Must Read: Rights given to the Mentally disabled in India

Other Initiatives Of The Mental Health Care Bill 2013

  1. Decriminalization Of Suicide

According to Section 309 of the Indian penal code,if any person commits suicide, he will be charged for trial except when the person is mentally ill at the time of committing the suicide.

The Government is focusing on reducing the number of suicide deaths due to depression.

  1. Granting Divorce

There have been a lot of cases where spouses ask for divorce on the basis of mental illness. This modification in the bill is raised as it is not valid to grant divorce in reference of person’s current mental health.

  • If there is any issue raised regarding the mental health of any one of the spouse then, that case should be referred to the mental health board to check on the medical condition and to scrutinize his conditions on the basis of the past and present situation.
  • In the case Kollam Chandra Sekhar vs Kollam Padma  Latha on 17 September, 2013, it was held that the husband cannot leave his wife on the basis of schizophrenia. The court held that illness can have its own shares of problem but, that doesn’t give anyone the right to abandon the other spouse who is ill.

Must Read:

  1. Eligibility Of Personal Insurance

Under the Insurance regulatory development act ( IRDA), all the insurance companies are entitled to make provisions for medical insurance on the same basis as of physical illness. This is done to get mental illness under the ambit of health insurance.

  1. Special Measures For Minors

Minors are always to be given special importance under this act. The guardians of the minors are their nominated representatives.

  • Usually, if the representative is found to be not taking it seriously and is not in the best interest of the child then, there is another guardian appointed to the minor by the board.
  • For a minor girl, with a male representative, it is necessary to appoint a female attendant. The representative can stop the treatment if he is not able to afford the attendant and the expenses are too high.


There have been a lot of instances where mental illness was not accepted by the society. The Mental Health Care bill 2013 has taken an initiative to restore the lost dignity of the mentally ill. Lots of measures will be taken in the future to include the mental illness come under the ambit of health issue.

In nutshell, we can say that earlier the issues of people suffering from mental illness were not highlighted and government was trying to bring a radical change in the society. The Mental Health Care bill 2013 seeks to collect more information about the people suffering from mental illness and focus on the protection of their rights and duties.

This bill can ensure that everyone is treated equally, irrespective of any kind of illness, and no discrimination is done on the basis of this. Soon an effective legislation should be made to implement the bill more widely.

That’s all about Mental Health Care Bill 2013 for now.

How do you think The Mental Health Care Bill 2013 will influence the health sector & the Mentally ill?  Drop your views in the comments box below.

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