The Mental Health Care Act 2017 was passed on 7 April 2017 and came into force from July 7, 2018.The law was described in its opening paragraph as "An Act to provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. “This Act superseded the previously existing the Mental Health Act, 1987 that was passed on 22 May 1987.
Recognizing that Persons with mental illness constitute a vulnerable section of society and are subject to discrimination in our society; Families bear disproportionate financial, physical, mental, emotional and social burden of providing treatment and care for their relatives with mental illness; Persons with mental illness should be treated like other persons with health problems and the environment around them should be made conducive to facilitate recovery rehabilitation and full participation in society.
The Government of India launched the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) in 1982, keeping in view the heavy burden of mental illness in the community, and the absolute inadequacy of mental health care infrastructure in the country to deal with it.The district Mental Health Program was added to the Program in 1996. The Program was re-strategized in 2003 to include two schemes, viz. Modernization of State Mental Hospitals and Up-gradation of Psychiatric Wings of Medical Colleges/General Hospitals. The Manpower development scheme (Scheme-A & B) became part of the Program in 2009.
3 main components of NMHP -
District Mental Health Program:
Envisages provision of basic mental health care services at the community level.