The State Cabinet approved the Karnataka State Mental Healthcare Rules 2021 for implementing the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 of the Centre, and providing health care and services for persons with mental illness, and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such person during delivery of mental healthcare and services.
Briefing mediapersons on August 19 on decisions taken at a Cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J. C. Madhuswamy said, under the rules, a State Mental Health Authority would be constituted. The government has constituted a committee headed by the director of NIMHANS, Bengaluru, for drafting rules for the authority.
The authority will maintain a register of clinical psychologists, mental health nurses and psychiatric social workers registered to work as mental health professionals, and publish the list.
As per the Central Act of 2017, the Secretary/Principal Secretary of the Department of Health and Family Welfare would be chairperson of the State authority. The Commissioner, the Joint Secretary of the Department, and the Director of Medical Education would be members of the authority. The State authority should meet not less than four times in a year.
Issues related to mental health assumed importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social and economic causes, such as loss of jobs, loss of income, death of family members and fear, have triggered mental health conditions among the people.
With mental health services falling under Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the government focused on mental health issues during the pandemic. Counsellors manning the free 104 help lines were trained and sensitised to handle and cater to the needs of distressed persons during the COVID-19 pandemic, official sources said.
Mr. Madhuswamy said that the Cabinet has decided to distribute sanitary napkins to girl students of government and aided schools and colleges in Karnataka at a cost of ₹47 crore under the ‘Suchi’ programme of the Health and Family Welfare Department.
A decision was taken to provide basic infrastructure and staff to 2,859 sub-centres of the Health Department at a cost of ₹478.91 crore.
A sum of ₹12.48 crore has been approved for construction of a Mini Vidhana Soudha at Alanda taluk in Kalaburagi district.
The Cabinet approved a ₹73.73 crore plan for solid waste management at Pachanady in Mangaluru City Corporation limits, the Minister said.