Addressing on the one-day event organized by the National Human resource commission to discuss ways for better implementation of National Mental Health Program, Justice Cyriac Joseph said he is concerned over the "non-utilization" of funds by state governments for various programs.
"Why the state governments are not able to utilize the funds and allow it to lapse. It was because there was only intellectual conviction but there was no change of attitude or change of heart, otherwise the funds would not have been wasted," he said.
The acting chairman, Cyriac Joseph also said, " NHRC perceives mental health as an important human right and we are deeply committed to uphold and protect it as such. We are also convinced about our role to sensitize the stakeholders about importance of mental health and to cooperate with any organization, institution and individual working in the field of mental health."
Stating over the government's move to introduce a new mental health law he added, "The problem is not absence of law but the "real problem" is lack of "determination and capability" to implement the existing ones. We have enough laws, the real problem is not the absence of law but failure to implement it properly."
Joint Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Anshu Prakash said, "Funds are lying with the states for 5-7 years but they are not utilizing it. I request all the Health Secretaries to take personal attention and check why the funds are not being utilized."
"Hopefully we will have a new Mental Health Act in this year which will be a landmark Act that will put India in a different league in terms of mental health," he added.
The meeting was attended by Health Secretaries of various states in New Delhi. The chairman also emphasized that specialized training for staff and awareness among people must be given to address the problems of treatment and rehabilitation of people suffering from mental illness.