It is time to think of innovative ideas to remove the stigma and achieve a safe world for the persons with mental illnesses, says NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice Arun Mishra; urges society and family members to accept and support them post treatment

New Delhi, 13th July, 2022

A National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India delegation on their two day visit to Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh conducted a workshop in collaboration with Government of Madhya Pradesh to formulate a plan for efficient working of the Gwalior MansikArogyashala today. This is in continuation with the visit and inspection of the Gwalior MansikArogyashala on 12th July, 2022.


The Chief Guest of the workshop, NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice ArunMishra, said that the mental illnesses are still a stigma in the society and there is a long way to go before we achieve the solutions. The individuals suffering with such illness are looked down upon in society, which restricts them from enjoyment of their human rights. The biggest problem is with their rehabilitation in the mainstream society after their treatment. The stigma attached with the mental illness and the lack of awareness causes impediments in getting the acceptance by their family.


Justice Mishra urged for laws to compel the families to accept them back post treatment, including provision of maintenance and right to property. He said that such an approach should be based on love, care and affection. Adding to it, he said that it is time to think of innovative ideas to remove the stigma and achieve a safe world for the persons with mental illnesses.

Justice Mishra said that it should be the duty of every individual, to protect the rights of people suffering for the mental illness.He said that the change should begin from changing mindsets. Unless the mindsets are changed, no amendments in the Acts will yield results. If it just remains on paper and is not implemented in itstrue spirit it would lead to failure of rule of law. He said that it is time to stop the blame game and work on constitutionally objective solutions in the right spirit to protect the rights of person with mental illness.

Earlier, the NHRC Member, Mr. Justice M.M. Kumar said that although the Mental Health Care Act, 2017 has specific provisions regarding the protection of rights of the persons with mental illness, the implementation on ground is not seen. The Government of Madhya Pradesh has set up Statutory State authority but this needs to be made fully functional on priority in tune with the provisions and spirit of the Act to safeguard the rights of persons with mental illness.

The NHRC Secretary General, Mr. Devendra Kumar Singh talked about the Supreme Court judgments in connection with the mental health care. He also stressed on the lack of support from society in general, which obstructs the process of proper treatment. Focusing on the role of the NHRC, he said that the commission will continue to work in promotion and protection of rights of the persons with mental illness.


The main points that have emerged from the two day visit, among others, are as follows:

• Awareness to remove the stigma related to mental illnesses, which often results in cruel and inhuman treatment;

• Expressions like behavioural health management may be used in place of mental illnesses to overcome the problem stigma attached with it;

• Provision of safe and clean food, potable water and accommodation;

• Provision of opportunities of community living;

• The availability of funds and specific budget to expand the possibilities of better technologies in the mental health care;

• Literacy and awareness camps to be organized regularly to help ease the rehabilitation;

The workshop was also addressed by the NHRC MemberMr. Rajiv Jain as well as the Joint Secretary, Mr. H.C Chaudhary. Mr. PrateekHajela, Additional Chief Secretary, Social Welfare and Disabled Welfare Department, Govt. of MP; Mr. Sudam P Khade, Commissioner, Health, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Prof. (Dr.) AtulGoel, Director General, Health Services, Govt. of India; Prof. (Dr.) Pratima Murthy, Director, NIMHANS; Principal District Judge, Mr. PremNarayan Singh, Gwalior and Director, Gwalior Mansik Arogyashala also participated in the discussion.