MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESS: A NECESSARY INCLUSION IN HEALTH INSURANCE

Asif Iqbal

Aug, 10, 2020

It is difficult in the region of India to make one understand about the ailment with which they are suffering with as only people knowing the mental ailment or lineage of mental health seek to makes themselves cover under insurance. The Municipal Cooperation needs to be involved to make someone aware of the mental health illness as power is necessary to be distributed in a balanced manner rather than the melancholy way which will make the whole process choked.

One of the videos of All India Bakchod (AIB) released a sketch, what if a normal disease was a taboo and it was centred to the conservative thinking of Indian society. Perhaps, the sketch can be considered as old but the issue raised was reasonable and makes sense because people hesitate to have a dialogue over it. Moreover, the recent demise of a rising superstar in Bollywood; Sushant Singh Rajput did bring attention towards mental health which includes not only Depression which can be classified as Postnatal Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Persistent depressive disorder; where an individual shall feel a mild depression but it will stay for a longer period to impact daily works of an individual. Whereas, a mental health disorder which is characterized to be persistent with a depressive mood or loss of interest in activities causes a significant impact on daily life. Though, they have different characteristics from one another as Clinical Depression will have symptoms like Depression, Restless Sleep or early awakening in comparison individual suffering from a persistent depressive disorder will have symptoms like depression, sadness and low self-esteem. How the broadcasting was made by the mainstream news channels or their prime time shows were insensitive and it was understandable that they were seeking for Television Rating Points or TRP which can get them, sponsors, by keeping one of the necessary principles of journalism on the sidelines i.e. ethics and morality. There have been a rising amount of calls made to online counsellors complaining about their loss of interest in their daily work, suffocation, panic attack during nights due to continuous reading about the rising cases and increase percentage of fatality rate in the society. It is happening due to the restrain in movement along with being constrained to have a conversation with a family member or such members who are continuously hurting them without any sort of intention which isn't able to handle in a safe manner which they used to do before is also a consequence of lockdown suddenly imposed by this government.

The mental health disorder was confined to the physical ailment in the past by the insurance companies and lessons have been learnt like any other normal person in society. The Section 2 (o) of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 defines Mental Healthcare, analysis and diagnosis of a person’s mental condition and treatment as well as care and rehabilitation of such person for his mental illness or suspected mental illness. Whereas, the Section 2(s) defines mental illness as a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs one's judgment, behaviour or capacity to accept the reality along with the difficulty adjust with the ordinary demands which an individual can fulfil to maintain a decent livelihood. The Chapter V of the Act mentions about the Rights of an individual suffering from above-mentioned diseases enunciated in Section 18 of the Act as there shall be right to have an access of mental healthcare and treatment from mental health services which are funded or run by an appropriate organisation affiliated by the government. An individual will not discriminate based on caste, creed, religion, sex or place of birth and others as mentioned in the Article 15 of the Constitution of India when they visit a healthcare centre for treatment or consult with the psychologist or psychiatrist. Clause 4 of Section 21 mentions that insurer shall be making a provision in the mental insurance on the same basis as it is provided for the treatment in physical illness. Consequently, it was the year of 2018 where the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) made it compulsory of Insurance companies to include the offering of mental health treatment. The judgment propounded by the bench consisting of Justices NV Ramana, Indira Banerjee & Mohan M.Shantanagoudar observed that the Section 20 (1) of the Mental Healthcare Act 2017 explicitly provides that every individual shall have a right to live with dignity which includes a person suffering from mental illness. The case of Navtej Johar vs. Union of India was referred, AIR 2018 SC 4321, Under Article 21 of the Constitution, right to life and liberty cannot be impaired unless taken by jus laws. In this case, we are concerned with the death penalty, which inevitably affects the right to life, and is subjected to various substantive and procedural protections under our criminal justice system. An irreducible core of the right to life is 'dignity'.

It is difficult in the region of India to make one understand about the ailment with which they are suffering with as only people knowing the mental ailment or lineage of mental health seek to makes themselves cover under insurance. The Municipal Cooperation needs to be involved to make someone aware of the mental health illness as power is necessary to be distributed in a balanced manner rather than the melancholy way which will make the whole process choked.