One-day National Seminar on LAW AND MENTAL HEALTH on 7th March 2019
The seminar focused on themes like promotion of mental health, prevention of mental disorders, legal issues related to treatment, mental health laws and rights, emerging trends in mental health, Conventions on the rights of Persons with Mental Disability and critical issues in the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. In the Inaugural Session, the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor emphasised on the interplay between law and mental health. He argued for improving awareness on mental health issues. He also empha- sised on the need to go beyond the Mental healthcare Act 2017 to ensure true protection of the rights of Persons with mental Disability.Prof. M. Lakshmipathi Raju, the Convener of the Seminar, referred to the minor mental health disorders like stress, anxiety, fear etc which affect the people. He stated that these minor issues, when compounded, result in mental illnesses. He argued for the adoption of holistic treatment options to counteract minor and major mental health issues. He also commended the shift from custodian-based care to a rights-based approach in the treatment of mental health illnesses under the 2017 Act. Prof. Muralidhar, (NIMHANS), emphasized on a multidisciplinary approach to curing mental health illnesses through cooperation of all human service professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists and psychiatric social workers in the treatment of patients. Dr. Radha Rani, Superintendent of Mental Hospital Visakhapatnam, the Chief Guest of the Inaugural Session, noted an increase in the incidence of mental illness and asserted the need for medical professionals to collaborate with legal professionals to promote awareness, treatment, and counselling services. Other eminent invitees like Prof. Roopesh (NIMHANS), Dr. Rajakumari Reddy (NIMHANS). Ms. Deesha Claire, Ms. Aruna Srilakshmi spoke on varied topics such as juvenile delinquency, anxiety disorder, and rights of mentally ill persons. Over thirty papers on varied themes were presented during the technical sessions. Selected papers are proposed to be published into a book.