HT Chandigarh Our Take: Care home needed for adults with mental health issues

The Mental Healthcare Act of 2017 has provision of half-way homes, sheltered accommodation and supported accommodation under rights of persons with mental illness.

Surprisingly, however, a Smart City like Chandigarh does not have community homes offering long-term assisted living for persons with mental health issues.

The city also has a large population of retirees, and some senior citizens are caregivers and parents of adults with mental health issues. Their concerns about the future of their children are valid. What if they are too ill to offer care? What happens to their children when they die?

A number of persons, including seniors, have been making representations to the administration for setting up long-term care homes, but the powers that be have yet to act.

Dr BK (Simmi) Waraich, MD, consultant psychiatrist with a Mohali based private hospital, had in a letter to the Punjab governor and UT administrator, on April 2019, referred to a meeting with him and reiterated the need to set up such a home. “The character of Chandigarh would be maintained and it would provide much needed sustenance to people who deserve to live with dignity and grace integrated into our society,” she had said.

Such a home also had to cater to different socio-economic needs of persons with mental illnesses, Waraich had stressed.

A year has passed since then, but even though a note was made of the governor receiving her letter, nothing has moved.

The administration has said it is looking into the matter, but getting land and other facilities for such a project could be a problem.

What the UT needs to do is assess properties not generating enough revenues and see if these could be put to good use. Paid facilities can be provided with retired nursing and housekeeping staff hired to take care of residents’ needs. Regular skills training, counselling and other services can be provided to enable them to live healthy and productive lives.

QUESTION: CARING CITY

Does UT need care homes for adults with mental health problems?

The city does not have care homes for adults with mental health problem? How can such facilities be run and maintained in the city? Send your responses with a photograph to [email protected] by September 25.

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