Punjab government has chalked out a comprehensive action plan to address the mental health needs of the community, said principal secretary, health and family welfare, Punjab, Vini Mahajan on Sunday.
She said as per the action plan for the immediate future, all the senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Punjab would be sensitised about the Mental Health Act,1987.
"The SSPs will be expected to arrange seminars, interactive sessions with officers of other ranks so that the police officers, especially station house officers (SHOs), become aware of the responsibilities regarding mentally challenged persons warding on city roads. The senior psychiatrists in the state, with guidance from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, and three state medical colleges in Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot will hold a workshop in this regard,"Mahajan said.
All civil surgeons would be trained the basic and emergency mental health care and the provisions of law so that no person with mental illness was denied medical help in the state hospitals.
"As per action plan, the chief judicial magistrates (CJMs) will be sensitised that as per the act, a lawyer is not required for requesting a reception order by the magistrate for the detention of a mentally ill person,"she added.
The '108 ambulances' and ambulances in the civil hospitals will be issued orders to never deny help to persons with mental illness and their wards.
Mahajan further said information, education and communication activities would be carried out more vigorously .The Punjab Police helpline 181 will also be utilised to encourage citizens to provide information regarding the homeless mentally ill.