THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala government is giving serious thought to addressing the ostracism faced by mentally-fit persons languishing in asylums even after being cured of their ailments.
Giving the unfortunate souls a chance to dream big again, experts are working on a roadmap for their rehabilitation. This will be implemented in a phased manner. The implementation of the roadmap will be monitored by a 17-member committee headed by the chief secretary.
“The major objective is to create awareness on mental health and thereby address the stigma associated with it. For that, a multi-pronged strategy is needed. The roadmap has been broadly divided into short-term and long-term action plans,” said an officer of the Social Justice Department (SJD).
Special secretary Biju Prabhakar said priority will be given to rehabilitate those who committed crimes but are not convicted due to mental ailments.
“Of the 88 people who have been identified, eight were rehabilitated. And another 21 will soon be rehabilitated. In the case of others, the state government will approach the High Court for further orders,” said Biju.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the roadmap complies with the suggestions made in a meeting convened by the Union Health Secretary in April.
The meeting was held in the backdrop of a directive from the Supreme Court in February that asked all the states and Union Territories to hold a meeting with the health secretary to chalk out a road map for the disowned mentally fit persons still at hospitals.
The 17-member committee constituted by the state government for monitoring the roadmap is expected to convene every quarter for reviewing its implementation.
The vice-chairman is the home secretary and convener is special secretary (Social Justice Department).