1. Prologue
  2. National Mental Health Policy 2014
  3. National AYUSH mission (NAM)


Current affairs related to public health, during September Week1 to October Week3.

  • Part1: Mother, Children, Hunger, Nutrition related.
  • Part2: Policy / Mission: Mental health, Ayush. You’re here.
  • Part3: “Selling” related: NPPA, Sravan, Cigar labelling.

National Mental Health Policy 2014

Topic in news Oct W2, 2014.
Relevance (GSM2) Services  relating  to  Health.

Q. Examine the need for a national mental health policy and list the salient features of the new mental health policy 2014. 200 words.

Why need a new policy?

  • During British-raj: Acts for Lunacy and Asylum. But they only dealt with “custody” while ignoring human rights of such patients.
  • Late 80s: Government enacted Mental Health Act, but many deficiencies, hence not implemented.
  • Hardly 3500 psychiatrists in country.
  • Indian society still stigmatises patients with even curable psychiatric diseases. Therefore, relatives delay or deny the treatment.
  • WHO predicts: by 2020, 20% of India’s population would suffer from some form of mental illness. (and the number likely rise further if Bollywood continues mindless remakes of South Indian movies and reality shows like Big Boss.)

Salient features of National Mental Health Policy 2014

National Mental Health Policy 2014

Salient Features of National Mental Health Policy 2014

Affordable Access

  • There is bi-directional relationship of mental illness and poverty.
  • Therefore, policy will have pro-Poor focus besides creamy layer families can afford mental healthcare.
  • Caregivers of mentally-ill patients, will be given financial support.


  • At district hospitals, new cadre of Government employees called “mental healthcare providers”.
  • Auxiliary midwives will be given training for mental healthcare.
  • New masters and diploma courses, to increase paramedics in mental healthcare.


  • Government will give fund to modernize existing hospitals, open mental healthcare wards in them.
  • Each state will have a “center of excellence” on the lines of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore
  • Will setup Small mental health centres within communities
  • Will reform mental hospitals to ensure dignity and human rights of women, children and old people.


  • Mental healthcare bill in 6 months.
  • Mental Health Action Plan 365 with specific roles for the Centre, States, local bodies and civil society.
  • Programs to combat drug abuse and alcoholism.
  • Universal Health Assurance Mission (UHAM) will include mental illnesses.


  • Attempted suicides will be decriminalized.
  • October 10 to be observed as National Mental Health Day.
  • Awareness campaigns
    • To remove stigma associated with mental illness.
    • To highlight the symptoms and remedies of depression, schizophrenia, bipolar syndrome.

National AYUSH mission (NAM)

Topic in news SepW3, 2014.
Relevance  (GSM2)  Departments of the Government; Services  relating  to  Health

Ayush Department

  • 1995: Government created a separate Department for Indian system of medicines.
  • 2003: renamed it into AYUSH – Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy
  • Latest addition: Sowa rigpa / Amchi. It is the traditional medicine system in Himachal and Ladakh.
  • Ayush Department promotes education, awareness, research and quality control of these systems.

National Ayush Mission (NAM)  2014

Approved with following features:

  • Increase in number of AYUSH:
    • Education institutions and manpower
    • Hospitals, pharmacies, labs, dispensaries
    • Raw material and drugs

Penetrate AYUSH more in the far flung areas.

Benefits of AYUSH: cheap, flexible, less side effects, accepted by large public.