Udupi: It shall be the right of the government to take care of displaced persons due to whatever reasons like mental disorders, severe depression, organic brain syndrome and others. Due to these reasons a large number of persons are displaced from inter-districts, inter-states and so on, said Dr P V Bhandari, noted Psychiatrist from Udupi.
Addressing the press meeting at Udupi Press Club here on Thursday, June 16, Dr P V Bhandari said that around 30% of displaced persons are suffering from mental disorders and roaming around the streets. The Government of India brought the Mental Healthcare Act in 2017. However, the state government of Karnataka has not been aware of this act. As per the Act, for those who have mental health problems and there is nobody to take care of them, the local police should interfere and take them to the concerned mental hospital for treatment. HPMI was found wandering within the limits of a police station. Police officers have reason to believe the person has a mental illness or is a risk to others by reason of mental illness. He further said that the Police officer in charge of the station takes the person under their protection, but not under their custody. If the person has difficulty in understanding, the officer informs the nominated representative. Nothing happened in our place, he said.
He said those police officers of a station should take a mentally ill person to the nearest public health establishment as soon as possible no later than twenty-four hours. Nominated Representative can be individually appointed as nominated representative in the Advanced Directive or Relative or if not available or not willing to be the nominated representative, caregiver or a suitable person appointed by the Board or a Director, Department of Social Welfare, or his designated representative or a person representing an organization registered under Societies Registration Act,1860 or any other law for the time being in force, working for persons with mental health professional temporarily to be the NR till the board appoints an NR.
Dr P. V. Bhandari said that the government is not aware of this and hence, the problems of displaced persons due to mental illness existed. It is the responsibility of the concerned police station officers to take them and hand them over to their respective families after their mental illness recovery. The Police’s responsibility is to take care of the mental disorders persons with reasonable medical care at hospitals and after recovery should take them to their respective families. Mother Teresa said that “One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody” he said.
He said that as per the Act, it is right to give the free medication even though the persons have no BPL card. In order to implement the Act 2017, the government should appoint a district-level Review Board Committee. Vishu Shetty, a noted social activist, said that a large number of cases who were displaced from the other districts and states due to mental disorder problems existed in the Udupi district. It is very difficult to take care of them with medication or whatsoever.