The law was passed in Parliament, a year ago. It is estimated that around 6-7% of the Indian population suffers from some type of mental illness and in 1-2% of the population, the mental problems are acute.
The group tries to educate the community on what mental illness really is.
The government believes that the law will make sure of the healthcare, treatment, and rehabilitation of people with mental illness in a manner that does not intrude on their rights and dignity.
This law also restricts treating mentally ill children with electric shock treatments and says that even for adults; such treatments should be given under anesthesia along with the muscle relaxants. His photograph also can not be published in media without consent.
The event was an opportunity to talk mental illness. It allows involuntary admissions for only a specific period, and that also with strict conditions. In England we have a mental health epidemic, whilst CAMHS services are continually being cut and funding is being withdrawn for services that the country is in dire need of.
The new Act empowers the government to set up a Central Mental Health Authority at national level and State Mental Health Authority in every State.
Since, the person undertakes the step in extreme mental stress, which means that it is triggered by mental illness, it should not be criminalized, he added. All mental health institutes and mental health practitioners including clinical psychologists, mental health nurses and psychiatric social workers will have to be registered with this agency. The Act decriminalises a suicide attempt by someone, looking at it as a manifestation of the person's mental illness, and recommends treatment of the patient.
Professionals say stigma leads to silence, and then, people not getting help.
People taking the course lean about what a mental health disorder, like bi-polar disorder or depression, might look like. "Numerous sufferers are unaware of their condition and even if the family knows about it, we still have a habit of sweeping it under the rug", Ayyer opined.