Strengthening the fight against Mental Illness in India

The Mental illness is the most neglected and tabooed aspect of Indian health care system. To address the burden of mental disorders, the Government of India has undertaken the following steps:

  • National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) is under implementation since 1982. District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) is under implementation in 517 districts of the country for detection, management and treatment of mental disorders/ illness.
  • Funds are provided to each district under the DMHP for sensitization training of Community Health Workers and elected representatives of the community at District Hospital/ Community Health Centre for awareness generation regarding early signs and community health-seeking behaviour for mental illness.
  • The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 provides that the appropriate Government shall take all measures to ensure that the Government Officials including police officers and other officers of the Government are given periodic sensitization and awareness training.
  • Three Central Mental Health Institutions namely National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur and Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi have been strengthened for augmenting the human resources in the areas of mental health and to provide quality mental health services in the country.
  • To increase the number of qualified mental health professionals in the country, the Government, under the NMHP, is implementing manpower development schemes for the establishment of Centres of Excellence and strengthening/ establishment of Post Graduate (PG) Departments in mental health specialities.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is regularly reviewing and monitoring the functioning of the three Central Mental Health Institutions and the Institutions supported under manpower development schemes of NMHP.

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