National Human Rights Commission Issues Advisories On Protecting Right To Mental Health
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India, 14 Oct 2020 4:37 AM GMT
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The recommendations stated that access to affordable health care and treatment should be ensured to every patient with any mental health condition.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued advisories to various ministries and states on the rights of patients with mental illness, especially during the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
The Commission, in a statement, said that the COVID-19 has caused a mental health pandemic. A range of mental health issues has emerged during different phases of the virus outbreak which demands immediate recognition and intervention.
Information regarding prevention from the COVID-19 and the rights pertaining to the patients of mental illness should be duly provided and state governments have been advised to operate a 24×7 help desk facility with a nodal person designated in each district for helping the patients and their caregivers.
The proposed centres should provide information on the availability of beds in hospitals.
The recommendations further stated that access to affordable health care and treatment should be ensured to every patient with any mental health condition. It stressed on the availability of a host of medical services including telephonic counselling, sheltered accommodation, and psychiatric emergency services.
The advisory also included extending mental health support to police personnel to deal with their mental issues during the distressing period of the pandemic.
"It is timely and much needed in the distressing times of the pandemic," said Meena Gupta, a counsellor, and therapist reported The Tribune.
Additionally, policy should be made for testing and treatment of homeless persons with mental illness. Also, keeping all COVID-19 precautions in place, adequate recreational activities may be provided for in-patients to reduce their stress and sense of isolation.
The Commission has also requested the ministries and states and Union Territories concerned to implement the recommendations made in the advisories and compliance with the action taken report sent to it, according to the statement.
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