Section 26 in The Mental Healthcare Act 2017

Title: Right to personal contacts and communication

Description: (1) A person with mental illness admitted to a mental health establishment shall have the right to refuse or receive visitors and to refuse or receive and make telephone or mobile phone calls at reasonable times subject to the norms of such mental health establishment. (2) A person with mental illness admitted in a mental health establishment may send and receive mail through electronic mode including through e-mail. (3) Where a person with mental illness informs the medical officer or mental health professional in charge of the mental health establishment that he does not want to receive mail or e-mail from any named person in the community, the medical officer or mental health professional in charge may restrict such communication by the named person with the person with mental illness. (4) Nothing contained in sub-sections (1) to (3) shall apply to visits from, telephone calls to, and from mail or e-mail to, and from individuals, specified under clauses (a) to (f) under any circumstances, namely:— (a) any Judge or officer authorised by a competent court; (b) members of the concerned Board or the Central Authority or the State Authority; (c) any member of the Parliament or a Member of State Legislature; (d) nominated representative, lawyer or legal representative of the person; (e) medical practitioner in charge of the person's treatment; (f) any other person authorised by the appropriate Government.

Title:  Right to legal aid

Description: (1) A person with mental illness shall be entitled to receive free legal services to exercise any of his rights given under this Act. (2) It shall be the duty of magistrate, police officer, person in charge of such custodial institution as may be prescribed or medical officer or mental health professional in charge of a mental health establishment to inform the person with mental illness that he is entitled to free legal services under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 (39 of 1987) or other relevant laws or under any order of the court if so ordered and provide the contact details of the availability of services.

Title: Right to make complaints about deficiencies in provision of services

Description: (1) Any person with mental illness or his nominated representative, shall have the right to complain regarding deficiencies in provision of care, treatment and services in a mental health establishment to,— (a) the medical officer or mental health professional in charge of the establishment and if not satisfied with the response; (b) the concerned Board and if not satisfied with the response; (c) the State Authority. (2) The provisions for making complaint in sub-section (1), is without prejudice to the rights of the person to seek any judicial remedy for violation of his rights in a mental health establishment or by any mental health professional either under this Act or any other law for the time being in force.

Title: Promotion of mental health and preventive programmes

Description: (1) The appropriate Government shall have a duty to plan, design and implement programmes for the promotion of mental health and prevention of mental illness in the country. (2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions contained in sub-section (1), the appropriate Government shall, in particular, plan, design and implement public health programmes to reduce suicides and attempted suicides in the country.

Title: Creating awareness about mental health and illness and reducing stigma associated with mental illness

Description: The appropriate Government shall take all measures to ensure that,— (a) the provisions of this Act are given wide publicity through public media, including television, radio, print and online media at regular intervals; (b) the programmes to reduce stigma associated with mental illness are planned, designed, funded and implemented in an effective manner; (c) the appropriate Government officials including police officers and other officers of the appropriate Government are given periodic sensitisation and awareness training on the issues under this Act.