A webinar on World Mental Health Day was organised by the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority (MSLSA) in Shillong on Friday to draw attention to mental health issues, particularly in the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic which has impacted every aspect of life globally.
The Member Secretary of MSLSA, N. A. Khan, delivered the keynote address on the Mental Health Care Act 2017. Highlighting the provisions of the Act, Khan informed that it aims at decriminalising the attempt to commit suicide by seeking to ensure that individuals who have attempted such acts are given the opportunity for rehabilitation from the government. He said the Act also aims to empower persons suffering from mental illness and also safeguards their rights, along with access to healthcare and treatment as any other patient without discrimination.
The Assistant Professor and HOD in-charge of NEIGRIHMS, Dr. Arvind Nongpuir, spoke on psychological impact of Covid-19 on mental health, while Dr. Atul Ambekar, Professor from National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) at AIIMS in New Delhi, spoke on public mental health issues related to alcohol and drug use, legal and policy perspective.
The webinar saw the participation of representatives from Meghalaya Police, Social Welfare Department, Legal Care and Support centres, para legal volunteers, panel lawyers, MIMHANS and District Legal Services Authorities.