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Eight mental health review boards formed in Maharashtra

The respective mental health boards in Maharashtra will be operational from February 2022 across eight localities namely Aurangabad, Pune, Nashik, Thane, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Akola, and Latur.

Eight mental health review boards formed in Maharashtra
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The state government of Maharashtra, in a recently taken decision, informed that a total of eight Mental Health Review Boards (MHRB) will be formed in the state, and will function across regional mental health hospitals. The decision has been taken under the mandate of the Mental Healthcare Act (2017) focused towards providing a review board for every district in India. The Act also ensures that a person is given the right to make a directive regarding the treatment for mental health-related illness and sharing the information about their nominated representative. Furthermore, reports state that  the board will be responsible in taking note of and understanding the directive thereby taking the appropriate decision.

The respective mental health boards in Maharashtra will be operational from February 2022 across eight localities namely Aurangabad, Pune, Nashik, Thane, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Akola, and Latur. The board reviews will include a psychiatrist, medical practitioner, two recovered patients or respective care givers, and a district collector/magistrate/deputy commissioner's representative. The team will be head by a chief judicial magistrate.

Quoting a medical officer with the Directorate of Health Services, the Hindustan Times reported, “Before the 2017 Act was implemented, if a patient had to be admitted to a mental health facility, the relatives of the care giver would require an order from the magistrate. Now, the patients can be evaluated by the psychiatrists and the admission has to be informed to the review board. The board can be approached for appeals, review admissions and look into conflicts if any."

Appointment letters have been issued to the chosen members and information has been given to the team to seek prior permission while handling a case involving minors or women who have to undergo Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). 

The department is working towards forming similar boards for all the districts, however, the decision will be taken post these eight boards are operational from the above mentioned date. No remuneration is being offered currently and several matters have to be considered as well. Furthermore, one of the selected members mentioned that the team will work to safeguarrd patient's rights.

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