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Mental health is a behavioral act, which can affect the day to day life and health. It depends upon the way by which they lives, their personal connections, and other physical factors can all contribute to mental health disruptions. The term mental health is a common term, however doctors call the same as psychological disorders.


Everyone has risk of mental health disorder, irrespective of their age, sex, income etc; Social and financial circumstances, biological factors, and lifestyle choices can also have an impact on a person’s mental health. The factor includes socioeconomic conditions, occupation, level of social involvement, education and housing quality, genetic family history which has common type of mental illness such as anxiety and mood disorders.


Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness. People with these conditions have severe fear or anxiety, which relates to certain objects or situations, who will always avoid exposure.


A mood disorder refers as affective or depressive disorders. People with this disorder have many changes in mood, either mania, which is a period of high energy and elation, or depression. This disorder is commonly known with Major depression, Bipolar disorder and Seasonal affective disorder.


As far as treatment concern it does not include any test or scan that indicates whether a person has developed a mental illness. It contains various methods for managing mental health problems. As far as the treatment concern it depends with the individuals and it may work for one person and may not work for another. Any individual with chronic mental disorder may choose different treatment of his choice at various stages of their life. Wherein they need to work closely with a doctor who can diagnose them with their needs and provide them with suitable treatment. Such as Psychotherapy approaching treatment for mental illness and Medication such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anxiolytic drugs, is a best and cheap way of treating mental illness.


The Mental Health Care Act, is enacted to promote and protect the rights and to improve the treatment and care for the people affected with mental illness in India. By virtue of the said act Central Mental Health Authority and State Mental Authority was established. That apart Mental Health Review Board was also created for providing adequate treatment to the people with several mental illness which also includes substance use disorder.


(i) Care and Treatment for the people affected by mental illness has moved into new era in the Indian Sub-continent, in view of enactment of Mental Health Care Act, 2017, which in fact harmonize the existing laws concerning Mental Health Care.

(ii) By virtue of the said Act, provisions were made for establishment of Half Way Homes, Sheltered Accommodation, Supported Accommodation, Hospital and Community based Rehabilitation services were provided which includes:

· Medical treatment including prescription of psychotropic drugs and treatment of related physical health issues.

· Day care rehabilitation services

· Psychological interventions including psycho-education about the condition and treatment options, counseling & psychotherapy

· Support in recovery process

· Inclusion and participation in the community

· Family counseling

· Promotion of self-help groups of persons with mental illness and the family members to enable

mutual support and empowerment.

· Promotion of mental health

In furtherance of the said act various rehabilitation services was provided by the State and Central Government in eradicating the mental illness. However the Government yet to notify the specific rules regarding implement.



According to the Representation of People Act, 1950[i], states that a person can be disqualified from an electoral if he/she is found unsound mind and stand so declared by a competent court.


The act mandates that every person should be of sound mind for the purpose of making a contract, while he makes it and must be capable of understanding the same upon his interest.[ii]


The conditions in respect of mental disorders, which must be fulfilled before the marriage is solemnized was that neither party is incapable of giving a valid consent as a consequence of unsoundness of mind and must not suffer from mental disorders of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children.[iii]

Unsoundness of mind is a ground for divorce or judicial separation when the other part has been suffering continuously or intermittently from mental disorder where the person cannot reasonably be expected to live with other.[iv]

UNDER THE PREVALENT MUSLIM LAW: Marriage is a contract. Any Muslim who is of sound mind and who attained puberty is qualified to marry. In Muslim Marriage Act, 1939, a woman married under Muslim Law is entitled to obtain a decree of divorce if her husband has been insane for a period of 2 year.

UNDER CHRISTIAN LAW: If either party was a lunatic or idiot, then such marriage can be declared voidable. They can apply for divorce for the grounds unsoundness of mind where its incurable for at least 2 years, they divorce petition can be filed under Indian Divorce Act,1869. In case of Parsi law concern they cannot seek divorce on ground of mental illness alone[v].


It is the capacity for the purpose of executing a Will, a legal declaration of the intention of a testator with respect to his property, which he desires to be carried into effect after his death. Any person who is suffering with mental illness can make a will during the interval period when he is of sound mind[vi].


Our Penal Code has a saying that any criminal act done by person of unsound mind and who does not have the capacity of knowing the outcome of the nature of such which they have done out of the act would not constitute an offence. Thereby the mental illness would ultimately reduce the level of the punishment which have been seen in several instances[vii].


The Juvenile Justice System is currently faced with difficult task in assessing and providing adequate service and treatment for the Juveniles. The act[viii] was enacted with an ultimate goal to divert Juvenile from the formal punitive processing of Adult Justice System.

Most commonly the juveniles with mental illnesses end up in the criminal system are there as a direct result of not having access to treatment for their illnesses within their community. The juveniles who are in the custody can access to care is just as poor, mental illnesses are often difficult to treat in juveniles. Thereby it created frequent and distinct fluxes in their symptoms, and thus requires they receive ongoing assessment and treatment. Subsequently, Juvenile Justice Act is enacted in providing proper care and service to the Juvenile Offenders by establishing Juvenile Homes and for the Welfare of the Prisoners, especially the offenders concerning mental illness the prison Act, the oldest Act is governing the rights of the prisoners, by affording and allocating work, on the basis of the offence[ix].


The advancement of the scientific and standardized methodology adopted in India would reveal the burden of mental disorders, gaps, challenges and barriers in health seeking for mental health problems along with such status and the assessment of mental health systems been followed in our country at the same time. This study enhanced upon the laws on mental health in India. The innovative approach leveraging technology not only makes it more accessible and affordable but also very empowering by encouraging community members to be more effective in care-giving for others in the community. This also promotes the democratization of mental health care and will achieve “good mental health for all.

[i] Section 16 of Representation of People Act,1950. [ii] Section 12 of Indian Contract Act,1872. [iii] Section 5 (ii) of Hindu Marriage Act,1955. [iv] Section 13 of Hindu Marriage Act,1955. [v] Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936. [vi] Section 59 of Indian Succession Act, 1925. [vii] Section 471 (i) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. [viii] The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act,1974. [ix] Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. New Pathways New Hope—National Mental Health Policy of India. In: Department of Health and Family Welfare, Editor. New Delhi: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; 2014.

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