by Dr. Nareshkumar,Co-Convenor, Tamil Nadu People’s Mental Health Forum (TNPMHF) , E-SOCHARA | May 2016


manifesto for mental health Tamil Nadu Assembly Election – 2016

Tamil Nadu state assembly election is to be scheduled in the month of May 2016, TNPMHF decided to bring in the manifesto highlighting the current situation in Tamil Nadu and the demands related to mental health. The Manifesto was released in March 2016 at World Vision, Chennai and also at Banyan, Chennai.

Situation of Mental Health Services In Tamil Nadu

  • For mental health some facilities for diagnosis and treatment exist in few cities, but there is no access what so ever in municipal and rural areas
  • Tamil Nadu ranks second in the number of suicides in the country with 16,122 cases reported in 2014. Chennai is the top suicide city in India.
  • Among the southern states, Tamil Nadu is the second highest in men who consume alcohol.
  • There has been significant increase in the number of alcoholics from 41.5% in NFHS-3 to increase to 46.7% in NFHS-4.

If the next government delivers the fourteen points in this manifesto, we will definitely achieve better mental health within five years.

In this manifesto we’ll be outlining what we want the next government to do to make sure everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets both support and respect. Whoever forms the next government, it must take mental health seriously.

1.In 2014 the Government of India had announced the National Mental Health Policy. Based on this, the State Government should formulate and implement the State Mental Health Policy and Plan of Action.

2. Mental Health services should be integrated with General Health Services. Increased access to localised mental health care should be provided including Primary Health Centres.

3. Laws, policies and schemes which are a barrier to the rights and full participation of the mentally ill should be changed. This change should include all aspects of life such as education, housing, employment, livelihood and social welfare.

4. Mental Health fitness certificates should be made mandatory for marriages, employment, promotion, candidates in the Local bodies, State Assembly and Parliament elections, politicians and Government servants.

5. Mobile mental health care services should be introduced alongside the 108 ambulances service to provide counseling and treatment.

6. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centres (Day care) for mentally ill Persons - should be started in every town and block headquarters to relieve families struggling to mange people with mental illness.

7. Simplifying norms are to be formulated for rescuing and admitting the mentally ill persons who are found wandering on the streets at the mental health care institutions.

8. Special vocational centers must be established to provide employment opportunities for the rehabilitation mentally ill persons in all districts.

9. Take steps to follow the WHO Guidelines in reducing the accessibility and availability of alcohol. Number of TASMAC shops should be reduced in a phased manner. Hours of working should to be brought down.

10. Government should run quality idle-addiction centres in each district with professionals.

11. Full time counselors should be appointed in each educational institution from school to colleges. Teachers should be trained in counseling services.

12. Rupees three thousand should be provided to all the severely affected mentally ill persons as part of monthly Maintenance allowances.

13. Mental Health service should be included in all the Health Insurance schemes.

14. Adequate financial (15% from State Health budget) and human resources should be provided in the mental health sector.



Tamil Nadu People’s Mental Health Forum (TNPMHF) is a basically peoples based forum of informal network working for the rights of persons with Mental Health problems. Its main strategy is advocacy and lobbying work to contribute to knowledge, resources and skills to policy formulation and implementation. TNPMHF promotes Mental Health in collaboration with other stakeholders. It also works for equitable access to Mental Health Services and to champion the reduction of Mental Health disparities in Tamilnadu. Dr. K.Shanmugavelayutham (TNFORCES), SOCHARA GB Member, is the Convener and Dr. Nareshkumar (PRAYASS) (A SOCHARA associate) is the Co-convener of this Forum.

The new activities of the forum this year were, it started a quarterly online Tamil e-newsletter the first edition got published in the month of April 2016. The name of the newsletter is “Theravukool” meaning “Key” for People’s right in Mental Health.

The main purpose of the article is

                a) to highlight the mental health issues faced people,

b) to critically analyze the positives and negatives of policies related to mental health and bring it

c) to the people’s knowledge,

d) to highlight cases related to mental health in High court and Supreme court, and

e) Finally publishing the activities of the forum.

Articles related to mental health are welcome. For further information contact: tnpmhf@gmail.com