Mental Health Services in New Nepal – Observations, Objections and Outlooks for the Future

  • Arun Jha Nepalese Doctors’ Association (UK) Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Logandene Care Unit, Ashley Close, Hemel Hempstead Hertfordshire, HP3 8BL
  • S R Adhikari South Asia Forum on Mental Health & Psychiatry – Nepal Chapter, Department of Psychiatry, Kathmandu Medical College Hospital, Sinamangal, Kathmandu


It has been over a decade since the government of Nepal adopted the National Mental Health Policy
(NMHP) in 1997. This article analyses the current provision of fragmented mental health services in
Nepal through case scenarios from Jumla in
northwest and Janakpur in southeast Nepal, criticises the proposed mental health Act, discusses the
reasons why the NMHP has not been implemented and suggests future models of delivering mental
health services in the wider community. Absence of a mental health section within the department
of health, insuffi cient budget, chronic shortage of trained manpower, and unplanned growth of
private medical institutions appear to be the issues deserving urgent attention. Setting up specialist
psychiatric facilities in all developmental regions or future states, developing community mental
health programmes and integration of mental health into general health care are the ways forward to
meet the needs and expectations of the new federal Nepal.
Key Words: community mental health, national mental health policy, Nepal, psychiatry

How to Cite
Jha, A., & Adhikari, S. R. (2009). Mental Health Services in New Nepal – Observations, Objections and Outlooks for the Future. Journal of Nepal Medical Association, 48(174), 185-90.
Short Communication