The state government is yet to hasten up the process of constituting District Mental Health Board (DMHB) despite the emphasis by Union Social Welfare Department to implement the formation of the boards under State Mental Health Authority.
The Act that guarantees adequate facilities for rehabilitating and treating people with mental illness, mandated the formation of review boards within nine months from its implementation. The boards are expected to keep track of admissions and case records in the hospitals.
However, the state government has already crossed the deadline to constitute the mental health board under the State Mental Health Authority. After a review by the Union Social Welfare Department, it was found that except for Tripura, no state across the country has formed the district mental health review boards. The Union Social Welfare Department has directed the state government to initiate measures for spreading awareness for the promotion of mental health.
The state social welfare department has also been directed to ensure adequate non-clinical measures for increasing community support for the people with mental disorders.
After the directions, the officials with the social welfare department and state health department say that the process of constituting mental health review boards will be accelerated. As per the state health department, 13 health review boards were announced that are responsible for reviewing the case reports of a person with mental illness and also personal issues of the affected person.
“The appointment of the officials and chairperson of the board was awaited. However, after the instructions from the Centre, the process will be speeded. The mental health review boards are being formed in coordination with the social welfare department and the boards will very likely become functional by this year,” said Dr Poorna Chandrika, Deputy Director, Institute of Mental Health and member of State Mental Health Authority.