Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Pandemic health crisis: NHRC asks States to act on mental health issues


BHUBANESWAR, MARCH 21: Keeping in view the spurt in pandemic-induced suicide cases, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued directions to all the Chief Secretaries of the States including Odisha and Union Territories’ administrators to act on its advisories on mental health care across the country.
The apex human rights watchdog adjudicating a petition moved by rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy passed the order recently.
Expressing concern over the mental health issues arising in the aftermath of pandemic health crisis, Tripathy had earlier apprised the NHRC of the rising suicides, saying that the Government at both the Centre and the States had failed to take care of the mental health in the wake of gross absence of healthcare facilities.
“The failure on part of the GFovernment in identifying the persons of unsound mind and persons with mentally unhealthy ill and taking care of the same post COVID-19 situation amounts to denial of human rights of these vulnerable people”, the petition alleged.
The petitioner had further submitted that the State Governments and Union Territories have failed to implement the provisions of the Mental Health Care Act, 2017 with regard to mental health issues.
Earlier the NHRC sought for action taken reports (ATRs) on the issue from the Chief Secretaries/Administrators of all the States and Union Territories and on receipt of the requisite reports, the same were examined from Research Division and in consultation with the Core Group on Health & Mental Health of the Commission.
Subsequently the NHRC considering the gravity of the issue raised by Tripathy in the petition had formulated and issued a Human Rights Advisory on Mental Health in context of COVID-19 pandemic and Human Rights Advisory on Mental Health in view of the COVID-19 pandemic covering the aspects like suicide prevention, right to access mental healthcare, promotion of mental health and preventive programmes, extending outreach of mental health support and post-COVID management. (Courtesy: TS)