Section 15 in The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017
Title: Nominated representative of minor
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 14, in case of minors, the legal guardian shall be their nominated representative, unless the concerned Board orders otherwise under sub-section (2).
(2) Where on an application made to the concerned Board, by a mental health professional or any other person acting in the best interest of the minor, and on evidence presented before it, the concerned Board is of the opinion that,—
(a) the legal guardian is not acting in the best interests of the minor; or
(b) the legal guardian is otherwise not fit to act as the nominated representative of the minor,
it may appoint, any suitable individual who is willing to act as such, the nominated representative of the minor with mental illness:
Provided that in case no individual is available for appointment as a nominated representative, the Board shall appoint the Director in the Department of Social Welfare of the State in which such Board is located, or his nominee, as the nominated representative of the minor with mental illness..
Title: Revocation, alteration, etc, of nominated representative by Board
The Board, on an application made to it by the person with mental illness, or by a relative of such person, or by the psychiatrist responsible for the care of such person, or by the medical officer in-charge of the mental health establishment where the individual is admitted or proposed to be admitted, may revoke, alter or modify the order made under clause (e) of sub-section (4) of section 14 or under sub-section (2) of section 15.
Title: Duties of nominated representative
While fulfilling his duties under this Act, the nominated representative shall—
(a) consider the current and past wishes, the life history, values, cultural background and the best interests of the person with mental illness;
(b) give particular credence to the views of the person with mental illness to the extent that the person understands the nature of the decisions under consideration;
(c) provide support to the person with mental illness in making treatment decisions under section 89 or section 90;
(d) have right to seek information on diagnosis and treatment to provide adequate support to the person with mental illness;
(e) have access to the family or home based rehabilitation services as provided under clause (c) of sub-section (4) of section 18 on behalf of and for the benefit of the person with mental illness;
(f) be involved in discharge planning under section 98;
(g) apply to the mental health establishment for admission under section 87 or section 89 or section 90;
(h) apply to the concerned Board on behalf of the person with mental illness for discharge under section 87 or section 89 or section 90;
(i) apply to the concerned Board against violation of rights of the person with mental illness in a mental health establishment;
(j) appoint a suitable attendant under sub-section (5) or sub-section (6) of section 87;
(k) have the right to give or withhold consent for research under circumstances mentioned under sub-section (3) of section 99.
Title: Right to access mental healthcare
(1) Every person shall have a right to access mental healthcare and treatment from mental health services run or funded by the appropriate Government.
(2) The right to access mental healthcare and treatment shall mean mental health services of affordable cost, of good quality, available in sufficient quantity, accessible geographically, without discrimination on the basis of gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion, culture, caste, social or political beliefs, class, disability or any other basis and provided in a manner that is acceptable to persons with mental illness and their families and care-givers.
(3) The appropriate Government shall make sufficient provision as may be necessary, for a range of services required by persons with mental illness.
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of range of services under sub-section (3), such services shall include—
(a) provision of acute mental healthcare services such as outpatient and inpatient services;
(b) provision of half-way homes, sheltered accommodation, supported accommodation as may be prescribed;
(c) provision for mental health services to support family of person with mental illness or home based rehabilitation;
(d) hospital and community based rehabilitation establishments and services as may be prescribed;
(e) provision for child mental health services and old age mental health services.
(5) The appropriate Government shall,—
(a) integrate mental health services into general healthcare services at all levels of healthcare including primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare and in all health programmes run by the appropriate Government;
(b) provide treatment in a manner, which supports persons with mental illness to live in the community and with their families;
(c) ensure that the long term care in a mental health establishment for treatment of mental illness shall be used only in exceptional circumstances, for as short a duration as possible, and only as a last resort when appropriate community based treatment has been tried and shown to have failed;
(d) ensure that no person with mental illness (including children and older persons) shall be required to travel long distances to access mental health services and such services shall be available close to a place where a person with mental illness resides;
(e) ensure that as a minimum, mental health services run or funded by Government shall be available in each district;
(f) ensure, if minimum mental health services specified under sub-clause (e) of sub-section are not available in the district where a person with mental illness resides, that the person with mental illness is entitled to access any other mental health service in the district and the costs of treatment at such establishments in that district will be borne by the appropriate Government:
Provided that till such time the services under this sub-section are made available in a health establishment run or funded by the appropriate Government, the appropriate Government shall make rules regarding reimbursement of costs of treatment at such mental health establishment.
(6) The appropriate Government shall make available a range of appropriate mental health services specified under sub-section (4) of section 18 at all general hospitals run or funded by such Government and basic and emergency mental healthcare services shall be available at all community health centres and upwards in the public health system run or funded by such Government.
(7) Persons with mental illness living below the poverty line whether or not in possession of a below poverty line card, or who are destitute or homeless shall be entitled to mental health treatment and services free of any charge and at no financial cost at all mental health establishments run or funded by the appropriate Government and at other mental health establishments designated by it.
(8) The appropriate Government shall ensure that the mental health services shall be of equal quality to other general health services and no discrimination be made in quality of services provided to persons with mental illness.
(9) The minimum quality standards of mental health services shall be as specified by regulations made by the State Authority.
(10) Without prejudice to the generality of range of services under sub-section (3) of section 18, the appropriate Government shall notify Essential Drug List and all medicines on the Essential Drug List shall be made available free of cost to all persons with mental illness at all times at health establishments run or funded by the appropriate Government starting from Community Health Centres and upwards in the public health system:
Provided that where the health professional of ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, homoeopathy or naturopathy systems recognised by the Central Government are available in any health establishment, the essential medicines from any similar list relating to the appropriate ayurveda, yoga, unani, siddha, homoeopathy or naturopathy systems shall also be made available free of cost to all persons with mental illness.
(11) The appropriate Government shall take measures to ensure that necessary budgetary provisions in terms of adequacy, priority, progress and equity are made for effective implementation of the provisions of this section.
Explanation.—For the purposes of sub-section (11), the expressions—
(i) "adequacy" means in terms of how much is enough to offset inflation;
(ii) "priority" means in terms of compared to other budget heads;
(iii) "equity" means in terms of fair allocation of resources taking into account the health, social and economic burden of mental illness on individuals, their families and care-givers;
(iv) "progress" means in terms of indicating an improvement in the State's response.
Title: Right to community living
(1) Every person with mental illness shall,—
(a) have a right to live in, be part of and not be segregated from society; and
(b) not continue to remain in a mental health establishment merely because he does not have a family or is not accepted by his family or is homeless or due to absence of community based facilities.
(2) Where it is not possible for a mentally ill person to live with his family or relatives, or where a mentally ill person has been abandoned by his family or relatives, the appropriate Government shall provide support as appropriate including legal aid and to facilitate exercising his right to family home and living in the family home.
(3) The appropriate Government shall, within a reasonable period, provide for or support the establishment of less restrictive community based establishments including half-way homes, group homes and the like for persons who no longer require treatment in more restrictive mental health establishments such as long stay mental hospitals.