J&K Govt to set up Mental Health Authority

Notifies rules for functioning of mental health establishments
Representational art
Representational artPicryl [Creative Commons]

Srinagar: In response to a pressing issue, the Jammu and Kashmir government has approved the creation of a Mental Health Authority, which would oversee the appropriate operation of all mental health facilities throughout J&K.

All mental health facilities and professions involved in the field would be registered with the Mental Health Authority, which has received approval from the J&K government.

The J&K Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department issued a notification to this effect.

The new Mental Health Act's regulations have also been established.

The Jammu and Kashmir Mental Healthcare (Mental Health Authority) Rules, 2023, may be used to refer to these regulations.

The notification said that they would become effective on the day they were published in the official gazette.

The Mental Health Authority would have its Chairperson, while the Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar and GMC Jammu, and Mission Director, National Health Mission, J&K as members for selection purposes.

As a 'Selection Committee’, they would be responsible for the nomination and selection of non-official members of the J&K Mental Health Authority.

Every non-official member selected or nominated under Rule 6 would hold his office for a period of three years and would be entitled to sitting allowance, travelling allowance, daily allowance, and such other allowances as are applicable to non-official members of similar commissions or committees of the J&K.

As per the rules Mission Director, National Health Mission, J&K would be the Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority, while a senior MBBS doctor with a Master in Health Administration or Master in Hospital Administration would be nominated as a Medical Advisor to CEO.

The Mental Health Authority with the approval of the government shall determine the number, nature and categories of the officers and employees required by the Mental Health Authority of J&K in the discharge of its functions.

The rules also include a selection of non-official members of the J&K Mental Health Authority.

As per the rules notified by the J&K government every mental health establishment in J&K, except the mental health establishment under the control of the Centre, would be registered with the Mental Health Authority of J&K by it, which would be furnished in health establishments, according to the new notified rules.

The rules have been made for the proper implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 in J&K. Now the mental health establishments in J&K would be audited and inspected to ensure transparency, while the Mental Health Authority would maintain accounts of its income, expenditure, and online register as well.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha in the exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-Section (2) of Section 121 of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 (10 of 2017) has made the rules.

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