Union Minister Choubey: Govt spent Rs. 545 cr on mental health awareness initiatives

New Delhi: Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha stated that to address the burden of mental disorders, the Government of India has been implementing the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) since 1982. The Government is supporting the implementation of the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) under NMHP in 655 districts of the country for early detection, management and treatment of mental disorders/illnesses.

He said that with the objective to address the shortage of qualified mental health professionals in the country, the Government, under NMHP is implementing manpower development schemes for the establishment of Centres of Excellence and strengthening the establishment of post-graduate departments in mental health specialties.

Choubey stated that till date, support has been provided for the establishment of 25 Centres of Excellence and 47 Post Graduate (PG) Departments in mental health specialties in the country. Tertiary level mental healthcare facilities are provided through dedicated Mental Health Institutions as well as Medical Colleges run by Central and State Governments.

During 2018-19, the total budget allocation for Central Mental Health Institutions and NMHP was Rs. 599.76 cr, out of which a total of Rs. 545.65 cr has been spent.

To generate awareness among masses about mental illnesses Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities are an integral part of the NMHP. At the District level, funds up to Rs. 4 lakh per annum are provided to each district under the DMHP under the non-communicable diseases flexi-pool of National Health Mission for IEC and awareness generation activities in the community, schools, workplaces, with community involvement. Under the DMHP various IEC activities such as awareness messages in local newspapers and radio, street plays, wall paintings and others are undertaken by the States and Union Territories.

As per the guidelines for implementation of DMHP, funds up to Rs. 12 lakhs per annum are provided to each district supported under the programme for targeted interventions with the following objectives:

  • To provide class teachers with facilitative skill to promote life skill among their students.
  • To provide the class teachers with knowledge and skills to identify emotional conduct, scholastic and substance use problems in their students
  • To provide class teachers with a system of referral for students with psychological problems to the District Mental Health Team for inputs and treatment.
  • To involve other stakeholders like parents and community leaders to enhance the development of adolescents

The Government has also enacted the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. The Act aims at protection and promotion of the rights of persons with mental illness during the delivery of health care in institutions and in the community. It also ensures health care, treatment and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness within a rights-based framework to achieve the greatest public health good. 


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