SHILLONG: According to Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, the Meghalaya cabinet has approved a policy to address social and mental health issues by working cooperatively with local communities.
According to him, Meghalaya is the third state in the nation to have adopted a policy that emphasises the importance of mental health, particularly for children, adolescents, and young people.
The new policy, according to officials, aims to address the social determinants of mental illness and ensure cultural security through cooperative engagement with the communities it intends to serve.
It also aims to facilitate appropriate access and care pathways for both common and severe mental health concerns, with a focus on person-centered care, in order to promote overall mental health and wellbeing.
The programme, according to health minister James PK Sangma, is anchored in the state's culture and aims to combat the stigma associated with mental illness.
He said, "It's a community-centered initiative and will enhance recognition, rehabilitation, and reformation, necessary for raising awareness and developing support systems.
In particular for vulnerable groups, Sangma emphasised that the COVID-19 epidemic had highlighted the necessity to have an all-inclusive and effective institutional response.
The other two states in the union with identical policies are Kerala and Karnataka.
To provide psychiatry care to everyone, the Center introduced the first-ever National Mental Health Policy in 2014.
The Meghalayan government had previously declared that the state would soon have a mental health policy on World Mental Health Day.
As a result, comments from members of the civil society were obtained and incorporated into the draught policy before it was presented to the cabinet, a senior health official told the media.
According to him, the policy will be carried out by bringing together various departments while bolstering community institutions, financial backing, and human resources.
India is not far behind other countries in the world in sharing this concern about mental health. Most low- and middle-income countries have experienced gradual advancements in the provision of mental health services.
The delivery of mental health services in primary care settings is difficult, there are not enough people trained to provide such services, and public health leadership lacks a mental health perspective.