Govt to set up mental health authority in J&K

Srinagar: The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to establish Mental Health Authority and all the mental health establishments for which the concerned professions in the Union Territory will be registered with it.

As per a notification issued by Health and Medical Education Department, a copy of which lies with the news agency – Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Mission Director National Health Mission J&K shall be the Chief Executive of the Mental Health Authority.

The rules for the new Mental Health Act have also been framed and these rules may be called ‘The Jammu and Kashmir Mental Healthcare (Mental Health Authority) Rules, 2023’, and shall come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette.

The Mental Health Authority shall have its Chairperson, while the Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College Srinagar/Jammu and Mission Director, National Health Mission, J&K as members for the selection purpose. As ‘Selection Committee’, they shall be responsible for nomination/selection of non-official members of the J&K Mental Health Authority.

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

As per the rules, the 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 Masters 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 for the discharge of its functions.

According to the notification, every mental health establishment in the Union Territory, except the mental health establishment under the control of the Central government shall be registered with the Mental Health Authority of J&K UT.

Every such establishment as referred to in sub-rule (1) shall apply for registration along with details given there in Form B, and a fee of Rs 20,000 by way of DD in favour of Chairperson, J&K Mental Health Authority. The provisional registration certificate granted under sub-rule (3)of rule 10 of the Act shall be valid for a period of 12 months from the date of such grant.

For renewal, one should apply within 30 days of the expiry of the period of validity. The renewal fee for the same will be Rs 5,000. The authority shall maintain a digital register of all such establishments and professionals, category-wise including clinical psychologists, mental health nurses and psychiatric social workers as mental health professionals.

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.

The Authority shall also ensure/conduct an audit of registered Mental Health establishments in the UT or authorise one or more persons from the office of the concerned Deputy Commissioner, a representative from the Human Rights Commission of the JKUT or psychiatrists in government service or private practice for the purpose.

The Authority may conduct inspections and inquiries of any mental health establishment, suo-moto or on a complaint in respect of non-adherence to minimum standards as specified under the Act—(KNO)

Leave a Reply