While presiding over a meeting on Mental Health and Mental Health Care Act, 2017 here today organised by HP State Mental Health Society, Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman said that mental health and well being are prime concern of modern society and Covid pandemic has underlined the necessity to build credible mental health care system. He said that good health and well being are among the seventeen sustainable development goals for 2030 of United Nations Member States. The Sustainable Development goals not only focus on physical health but mental health as well. The target is to reduce by one-third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well being by 2030, he added.

He stressed on the need to deepen the value and commitment towards mental health as individuals, communities and policy makers. He said that social stigma also prevents early diagnosis and treatment. Himachal Hospital of Mental Health and Rehabilitation, Shimla is regularly organizing workshops, seminars and other activities to make the people aware about it. He appealed to the people not to fall in to grab of magical remedies and belief systems as it interferes with the early diagnosis and treatment. Principal Secretary Health Subhasish Panda detailed the current scenario of mental health in the State. He said that persons with mental health issues should never be ignored. He said that this is an issue which is being faced across the globe. He stressed on the need to strengthen mental health care so that it is accessible and affordable to all.

Senior Medical Superintendent, HHMH and Rehab-cum-Chief Executive Officer Himachal Pradesh State Mental Health Authority Dr. Sanjay Pathak gave a detailed presentation on the Mental Health Care Act, 2017. He said that this Act provide for mental healthcare and services for persons with mental illness and to protect, promote and fulfil the rights of such persons during delivery of mental healthcare and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Prof. and Head Department of Psychiatry, IGMC Dr. Dinesh Dutt Sharma said that mental health is a state of well being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Secretaries, Head of various Departments, senior officers and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

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