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The Mental Healthcare Act 2017 (a revision of the mental healthcare act 1987) defines mental illness as: “mental illness” means a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognise reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.
Why was the original act revised? Because it criminalised suicide. The Section 309 in Indian Penal Code states this: Attempt to commit suicide.—Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year 1[or with fine, or with both]. This was in effect till 2013.
Even though bills were passed to decriminalise it, they were not brought into action due to few reasons. 🔸Everything changed in 2017.🔸 The Mental Healthcare Act was revised to decriminalise suicide and offer clinical support to those who had made an attempt to suicide and access to rehabilitation programmes. The Act came into action in the July of 2018, which is last year.
Our voices have been heard. Mental illness has been well defined. As Indians, we have help too. Mental health day was themed on suicide prevention but that does not mean we should talk about it only on that day. We conducted a mental health convention on October 7th, wearing yellow ribbons to show our support to the suicide prevention campaign. Suicide rates in India are alarmingly high. Let's unmute ourselves and be there to support our mates.
#SafePlaceMadras at Maadi Spaces