KOCHI: The national seminar organised by the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists - Kerala Region had demanded clinical psychologists should be included in the board of certification for the differently-abled. As per the regulation of the Central Government, a majority of the certifications out of the 21 categories of differently-abled should be given by a medical board consisting of clinical psychologists, but the above regulation has been undermined in the current scenario.
The right to certification has been misused by undertrained individuals being appointed in government projects on a temporary basis, unqualified professionals, and a few psychiatrists. It has been found such practices are continuing as the clinical psychologists in the government sector are completely disregarded while constituting the board. In order to secure a hundred per cent result in board examinations, several schools misuse the provision of certification and make students write the examination with the help of scribes.
The convention advocated such practices should be terminated immediately. Apparently, the ordinance issued by the state government on the appointment of clinical psychologists violates the regulations of the rehabilitation council as well as the provisions of mental health care act.
Kerala is the state where these specialists were defined as assistants to psychiatrists through the state mental health rules - 2012 published in the gazette (the legislation on the same had started way back in 1994). The convention had strongly opposed this action. The Parliament had passed a new mental health Act and forwarded the same to the state rules-draft department. Out of the 10 medical boards constituted for the 21 categories of differently-abled, clinical psychologists were to be included in five compulsorily. But clinical psychologists were not even intimated about the legislation. The differently-abled community has been denied their right to access quality service while going through the process of certification. Only Kottayam district had formulated a model board for certification. Undermining of services would continue unless the state government issues a comprehensive ordinance on the right to certification.
The convention remarked it is a serious violation of rights of clinical psychologists to propound that clinical psychologist who are non-medical clinicians is a sub-speciality of another profession. The convention was inaugurated by Binoy Viswam. Dr Sany Vargheese gave the keynote address on the role of Clinical Psychology in the protection of rights of divyangan category. Sreehari R (Department of Clinical Psychology, AIMS, Kochi), Shareeka Sham (Clinical Psychologist, INHS Sanjeevani, Kochi) presented papers. The department heads of psychology from various institutes across Kerala will participate in the discussion.
Model certification board
The differently-abled community has been denied their right to access quality service while going through the process of certification. Only Kottayam district had formulated a model board for certification