Jammu and Kashmir Government Takes Steps To Establish Mental Health Authority And Guidelines for Mental Health Facilities

Mental Health Authority

In response to a growing concern surrounding mental health issues in the region, the Jammu and Kashmir government has taken a significant step forward by approving the establishment of a Mental Health Authority.

This newly formed authority will be responsible for overseeing the effective and proper functioning of all mental health facilities within the territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mental Health Authority For Better Mental Health Of Citizens

The decision to establish a Mental Health Authority was formalized through a notification issued by the J&K Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department.

Alongside this groundbreaking development, a set of comprehensive regulations has been put in place to govern the operations of mental health establishments. These regulations are encapsulated in the Jammu and Kashmir Mental Healthcare (Mental Health Authority) Rules, 2023.

It has been stipulated that these newly enacted rules would come into force on the day they are officially published in the government’s official gazette.

This move is seen as a critical step towards addressing the pressing issue of mental health in the region, ensuring that individuals in need have access to proper care and support.

The composition of the Mental Health Authority will include a Chairperson, as well as members who hold key positions in the healthcare sector.

Among the members will be the Head of the Department of Psychiatry from Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar and GMC Jammu, as well as the Mission Director of the National Health Mission in Jammu and Kashmir.

These individuals will form a “Selection Committee” responsible for nominating and selecting non-official members to serve on the J&K Mental Health Authority.

Each non-official member chosen or nominated in accordance with Rule 6 will serve a three-year term and will be entitled to various allowances, including sitting allowance, travelling allowance, daily allowance, and any other allowances that are applicable to non-official members of similar commissions or committees within Jammu and Kashmir.

As per the regulations, the Mission Director of the National Health Mission in J&K will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Authority.

Additionally, a senior MBBS doctor with either a Master’s degree in Health Administration or Hospital Administration will be nominated to serve as a Medical Advisor to the CEO.

One of the key responsibilities of the Mental Health Authority will be to determine the number, nature, and categories of officers and employees required to assist in the discharge of its functions effectively.

This decision will be made in consultation with the government to ensure that the authority can carry out its mandate efficiently.

The establishment of the Mental Health Authority is a significant development in the healthcare landscape of Jammu and Kashmir. It signifies a commitment to addressing mental health issues and ensuring that individuals grappling with such challenges receive the necessary care and support.

By creating a regulatory framework and oversight body, the government is taking proactive steps to enhance mental healthcare services in the region.

Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being, and recognizing its importance and taking concrete steps to improve access to mental health services is a commendable initiative by the Jammu and Kashmir government.

The establishment of the Mental Health Authority and the issuance of comprehensive regulations reflect a dedication to the well-being of the region’s residents, fostering a more inclusive and supportive healthcare system.

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