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Terming mental health as an important aspect of human rights, acting Chairman of NHRC Justice Cyriac Joseph today voiced concern over "non-utilisation" of funds.[/caption]
Terming mental health as an important aspect of human rights, acting Chairman of NHRC Justice Cyriac Joseph today voiced concern over "non-utilisation" of funds by state governments for various programmes in the area.
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"Why the state governments are not able to utilise the funds and allow it to lapse. It was because there was only intellectual conviction but there was no change of attitude or change of heart, otherwise the funds would not have been wasted" he said while addressing a meeting of Health Secretaries of various states here.
He said NHRC perceives mental health as an "important human right and we are deeply committed to uphold and protect it as such."
"We are also convinced about our role to sensitise the stakeholders about importance of mental health and to cooperate with any organisation, institution and individual working in the field of mental health", he said.
Pointing to government's move for a new law on mental health, Justice Joseph said that the problem is not absence of law but the "real problem" is lack of "determination and capability" to implement the existing ones.
"We have enough laws, the real problem is not the absence of law but failure to implement it properly," he said.
Referring to the state of mental health institutions in the country, he emphasised on "specialised training" of staff and awareness among people to address the problems of treatment and rehabilitation of people suffering from mental illness.
He also noted the role played by private institutions and NGOs in the area of mental health and asked the Health Secretaries of different states to acknowledge their efforts and extend support to them.
Earlier, addressing the gathering, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Anshu Prakash said that it was "unfortunate" that the states were not utilising the funds under various programmes.
"Funds are lying with the states for 5-7 years but they are not utilising it. I request all the Health Secretaries to take personal attention and check why the funds are not being utilised," he said.
"Hopefully we will have a new Mental Health Act in this year which will be a landmark Act that will put India in a different league in terms of mental health," he added.
The one-day event was organised by the NHRC to discuss ways for better implementation of National Mental Health Programme, specially District Mental Health Programme (DMHP), infrastructure and manpower development in the states and UTs.