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Mind Over Matter

You can demand mental health now, it’s your right. But be ready for surprises

At least 60 million Indians suffer from serious disorders of the brain and behaviour, and the new legislation is meant to address their needs. The rapid expansion of beds, drugs supply and a right to treatment to boot. What is there to go wrong?

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The outpatients’ room, MH-6, is sunlit and quiet even though the corridor outside is chock-a-block. A man in his 50s walks in. The air thickens with his high-pitched rapid-fire monologue. A dozen odd patients and attendants rush to witness the spectacle. The middle-aged man from Mysore is proclaiming he is ‘like God’, ‘he could do…

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