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Mental Health Act (1987) (link) : This act contains the law which specific to the treatment of mentally ill individuals. Comments are also made on the ‘provisions with respect to their property and affairs‘.

Some topics covered (among many!) are:

Mentally Ill Person: is referred to as “a person who is need of treatment by reason of any mental disorder other than mental retardation

Mentally Ill Prisoner: is a “mentally ill person whose detention in, or removal to, a psychiatric hospital, psychiatric nursing home, jail or other place of safe custody, an order referred in Section 27 has been made

Minor: is a person below the age of 18 years.

Cost of maintenance: of a psychiatric ill person in a psychiatric set up (nursing home/hospital).

Medical Officer: is a gazetted medical officer also, includes medical practitioners.

Medical Officer in charge: who is in charge of a psychiatric hospital or a nursing home.

Medical Practitioner: who has the necessary medical qualifications.

Reception Order: is an order made by the Government of India under which the admission and detention of a mentally ill person is made in a psychiatric hospital or a psychiatric nursing home.

At present, the Mental Health Care Bill has been approved.

Mental Health Care Bill 2016 (link)

Definition of Mentally Ill Person: “Mentally ill person means a person who is in need of treatment by person of any mental disorder other than mental retardation”

Mentally Ill Prisoner refers to a mentally ill person for “whose detention in, or removal to, a psychiatric hospital, psychiatric nursing home, jail or other place of safe custody, an order referred to in Sec. 27 (of the Mental Health Care Act) has been made”;

Minor” is a person below 18 years

Clinical Psychologist: means a person
“(i) having a recognised qualification in Clinical Psychology from an
institution approved and recognised, by the Rehabilitation Council of India,
constituted under section 3 of the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992; or
(ii) having a Post-Graduate degree in Psychology or Clinical Psychology
or Applied Psychology and a Master of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology or
Medical and Social Psychology obtained after completion of a full time course of two years which includes supervised clinical training from any University recognised by the University Grants Commission established under the University Grants Commission Act, 1956 and approved and recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 or such recognised qualifications as may be prescribed;

In case you are interested, there are some other Acts to check out:

 The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993
Persons with Disability Act, 1995
The National Trust Act, 1999
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985.


Murthy, P., Malathesh, B. C., Kumar, C. N., & Math, S. B. (2016). Mental health and the law: An overview and need to develop and strengthen the discipline of forensic psychiatry in India. Indian journal of psychiatry58(Suppl 2), S181.

Note: A lot of the text here has been written in quotes; all of which isn’t original content. Appropriate references in the form of links have been provided. 

Other Resources: Quora Answers

India Mental Health Resources
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One thought on “India Mental Health Resources

  • January 22, 2020 at 9:10 pm

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