The rules for admission and discharge of a child or minor (below 18 years of age) are different from those of adults. In case a child requires admission in a mental health establishment, the nominated representative should apply to the mental health professional in charge of the establishment for the child’s admission1.
Criteria for Admission
The professional in charge may admit the child to the mental health establishment if2 two health professionals, one of whom is a psychiatrist, have independently examined him in the last seven days. Both the professionals must independently conclude that:
- The child has a mental illness severe enough to require admission
- The admission will be in the best interests of the health, safety and wellbeing of the child
- Admission is required to satisfy the child’s healthcare need
- All community-based alternatives to admission are unsuitable to the child’s needs
Provisions for Stay
Certain conditions need to be fulfilled, under the law, when a child is admitted at an establishment. These conditions are:
- To accommodate the child separately from adults3
- The child’s environment must consider his or her age and developmental needs3
- The child’s environment should of the same quality as other hospitals where children are admitted for other medical treatment3
- The nominated representative/an attendant appointed by the nominated representative must stay with the child in the establishment for the entire duration of his stay4. In the case of girls, a female attendant shall be appointed by the nominated representative who will stay with her if the nominated representative is male. 5.
The nominated representative should give informed consent for any treatment given to a child. In other words, permission must given after complete knowledge of the treatment and its consequences. 6.
- Section 87(2), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 87(3), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 87(4), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 87(5), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 87(6), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 87(7), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.
- Section 87(8), the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017.