March 15, 2024 08:56 pm | Updated March 18, 2024 06:06 pm IST – Thiruvananthapuram

The government has issued orders accepting the recommendation under the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 that mental health review boards be made functional in the State with immediate effect.

Accordingly, mental health review boards in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Thrissur, and Kozhikode will start functioning with effect from April 1.

Till regular staff are appointed to the posts created for the mental health review boards, these boards will make use of the service of employees in the Kerala State Mental Health Authority (KSMHA), and Health and Medical Education departments.

Directives have been issued to the Chief Executive Officer of KSMHA, Director of Health Services, and the Director of Medical Education to make arrangements among the staff to facilitate the functioning of the review boards, Health Minister Veena George said in a statement here on Friday.

As per the Mental Healthcare Act of 2017, the government had sanctioned mental health review boards in Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Thrissur, Kozhikode, and Kannur. Orders had been issued, nominating chairpersons and members to these boards and creating necessary posts for each of them.

Mental health review boards have been envisaged as quasi judicial bodies under the MHC Act to protect the rights of persons with mental illness concerning their treatment and care decisions and ensure the availability of mental health-care services for these individuals.

The boards will look into the aspects of admission of an individual into a mental health centre, treatment, and the functioning of centres. These boards will be the grievance redressal authority to adjudicate on complaints regarding the treatment of a person with mental illness, violation of rights, discrimination, access to care or confidentiality,

Persons with mental illness or his/her nominated representative or the representative of a registered NGO (with the patient’s permission) can approach the boards for grievances redressal or for raising complaints.

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