Legislating on Mental Health India to Achieve SDG3

Authored by: Amita Dhanda

The Routledge Handbook of International Development, Mental Health and Wellbeing

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367027735
eBook ISBN: 9780429397844
Adobe ISBN:


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The objective of this chapter is to assess whether the Mental Health Care Act of 2017 (hereinafter the Act), recently approved by the Indian Parliament, 1 will help fulfil the country’s commitment to SDG3. This task is being undertaken in acknowledgement of the fact that a policy is not implemented by law alone, and even a perfect law may be insufficient to achieve the realisation of a policy. Even so, this evaluation is worth doing because laws can assist in the achievement of policy goals and, more importantly, if not in harmony with policy, laws can operate as barriers to the realisation of policy goals. Therefore what role, if any, the Act will play in this equation between law and policy is examined here.

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