Mental Health has always been treated as a non-existent disease in India.
Remarks like it’s all in your head, your are just being lazy, don’t give excuses are common to be heard from parents, teachers and relatives if anyone even gives a hint of heaving mental health problems.
While physical diseases from the common cold, fever and to the more serious ones like cancer and all are treated with the utmost seriousness, the same respect is not given to mental health problems.
And by chance if the family is able to come to terms with it and accepts that their child has such an issue, it is not like the problems are over for the sufferer.
After that comes the very essential task of keeping all mentions of your having mental health issues mum around anyone outside the family, trips to the doctor are disguised in one way or another and basically you have to pretend in front of all these people that you are fine and dandy.
But this kind of behaviour is not just insulting and rude but can actually be extremely harmful for the person who is having those problems.
For a long time, even the govt. seemed to ignore this part of health, but with these 2 court rulings, it has shown that perhaps that is not the case.
These court rulings are all about treating people with mental health problems in a humane manner and understanding the difficulties they face.
Decriminalisation Of Attempt To Suicide
In the latest news, the Lok Sabha has passed a new Mental Healthcare Bill 2016 which not just decriminalizes attempt to suicide but also bans electric shock therapy as a means of treating mental illness for children.
With suicide being among the top 10 reasons of death in India, especially the youth of our country from ages 15 to 29, these rulings are more than welcome.
Although many people think that suicide is an act of cowardice, however it takes a lot of pressure and mental health issues that one must be suffering from in order to take their own lives.
The act of suicide is an extreme sign of depression and hopelessness, which proves the fact that one has completely given up on themselves.
Traumatic situations, mental health issues and more can force to make an attempt at their lives, if only to just escape from their misery.
Decriminalizing attempt to suicide allows that person to not be seen as a criminal but instead a person who needs immediate help.
Also, the ban on electric shock therapy for children is a much needed one and not something we can allow to go on for much longer. I only hope that this ban will eventually be extended to adults too, sooner than later.
Halfway Houses For Mentally Ill Prisoners
If an average person with mental health issues finds it difficult to get the treatment they need then you can just imagine how much worse it must be for prisoners.
But even here, the Delhi High Court in an incredibly humane judgment, has issued directions to the state govt. which urge them to set up halfway houses for mentally ill prisoners, in order for them to get the treatment they deserve and can, in due time, join back the society.
It has been observed that due to the wholly inadequate attitude we have towards mental health, more often than not, people with mental health who have committed a crime are put in jail instead of an asylum.
This in turn, leads to them being harassed and tortured from not just other criminals but even wardens and other authority people, which can worsen their condition even more.
A halfway house is basically a place where people who have just been released from mental health institutions and such live for a certain amount of time before reintegrating with society.
The house works exactly like what it is named as, and allows the person to have a safe place with professionally trained people there who can help whenever needed. This is much better than just throwing them back into normal society where they can get overwhelmed and confused and revert back to their old state.
A lot of times the family also shuns the person, employment is difficult to get and so forth and in this case a Halfway house helps the person to acclimate to normal living once more.
Both these judgments are quite progressive and give an impression of changing mindsets towards mental health and how to deal with the issues and problems it comes with.
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