LAHORE: At last, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has accorded approval to constitute Punjab Mental Health Authority in pursuance of the Mental Health Act, 2014, sources said. The authority shall consist of 10 members from across the province. Provincial Minister for Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Khawaja Salman Rafique would be the chairperson of the authority, which would start functioning very soon. Other members of the authority are the SHC&ME secretary, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department secretary, chief consultant psychiatrist, Punjab Institute of Mental Health (PIMH), Prof Dr Saad Bashir Malik, Prof Aftab Asif, Prof Fareed Aslam Minhas, Dr Rafia Hassan, Dr Rukhsana Kausar and PIMH executive director Lahore. According to sources, SHC&ME Department Secretary Najam Ahmad Shah had sent a summary to the Punjab chief minister for final approval, while official notification would be issued very soon. After the 18th constitutional amendment, the Punjab government had amended the Mental Health Ordinance of Pakistan, 2001. A bill named Punjab Mental Health (Amendment) Act, 2014 was passed by the provincial assembly in 2014 in this regard. According to the act, there should be a provincial mental health authority, which shall consist of a chairperson but not more than ten members, to be appointed by the government. The members of the authority should work as secretaries to the government, Health Department, chief consultant psychiatrist and the Punjab Institute of Mental Health. The authority shall advise the government on all matters pertaining to promotion of mental health, prevention against mental disorders and establishment of new national standards for care and treatment of patients. The authority shall also recommend measures to improve existing mental health services, besides setting up child, psycho-geriatric, forensic, learning disability and community-based services, and prescribing procedures with respect to setting up and functioning of the mental health services and facilities. Sources said that the authority would be authorised to prescribe a code of practice to be implemented for achieving the purposes and objects of the act as well as to be followed by all the mental health personnel attached with patient care under the act. They said the authority shall register psychiatrists in such a manner as may be prescribed, and regulate establishment of help lines and crisis centres for general public in this regard. Authority may be housed inside the Punjab Institute of Mental Health for implementation of the Punjab Mental Health (Amendment) Act, 2014 in true sense and provision of all secretarial support for its day-to-day functioning, they added. Keeping in view the needs of modern age and to define latest mental disorders, the Mental Health Act 2001 would also be amended for which a draft law had been prepared by the Psychiatry Department of the King Edward Medical University, they said, adding that there was a need to amend mental health act according to the requirements of modern age and to resolve psychological.