Mental Health Foundation (India) is a not-for-profit registered organization formed on 20th March 2003 with an aim to promote mental health and create space in society for people with mental illnesses so that they can lead a dignified life. 

We are working relentlessly for betterment of people suffering from mental illnesses. We are committed to make a coordinated effort with compassion and understanding to transform social attitudes towards mental illness. The effort is to create the atmosphere which empowers person suffering from mental illness. 

Adhering to our commitment and to reintegrate the persons with mental illness to the mainstream of society we provide a range of mental health services to people with mental illness especially to those with weaker support system. 

Our Objectives

  • To promote mental health and to bring a change in the mindset of people about mental illness.
  • Evoke a sense of moral and social responsibility towards disability associated with mental illness.
  • Advocate for the needs and rights of persons suffering from mental health issues.
  • To provide services to people with mental illness particularly with poor support system.
  • Optimize independent functioning of persons and help them to live a dignified life by social skill development, occupational mainstreaming and improving their quality of life.

our journey to social change

The Decriminalization of Suicide in India
  • 2010

    We found out that every year, more than 10 lacs people attempt suicide in India. Under IPC Section 309, attempt to suicide was a criminal offense in India and the punishment included imprisonment upto one year or fine, or both.

  • 2011

    Mental Health Foundation (India) filed Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi seeking to expedite the process of implementing the 210th Report of the Law Commission of India seeking to repeal/abolish Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.

  • 2012

    In respond of the petition, respective Government of India submitted their documentation in court stating that 25 states/UTs have agreed to the LCI recommendation of deleting Section 309 IPC. On that basis, concerned Ministry agreed to consider decriminalization of suicide in next batch of amendment to the IPC, 1860.

  • 2013

    The respective Government of India introduced Mental Health Care Bill, 2013 including decriminalization of suicide in the proposed bill and referred it to the standing committee.

  • 2014

    The respective Minister of State for Home Affairs, stated that "it has been decided to delete Section 309 of IPC from the Statute book." However, pending the passage of the Mental Health Care Bill 2013, Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code was yet to be limited or repealed.

  • 2015

    On 24 February 2015, the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary, said that a proposal to delete Section 309 from the Indian Penal Code had been sent to the Legislative Department of the Ministry of Law and Justice for drawing up a draft Amendment Bill.

  • 2016

    The Rajya Sabha passed the Bill on 8 August 2016. 

  • 2017

    The Lok Sabha passed the bill on 27 March 2017. 
    Attempted suicide was decriminalized with the passage of the Mental Healthcare Bill.​

Repealed Section 309 IPC

"Whoever attempts to commit suicide and does any act towards the commission of such offence, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine, or with both."


"Notwithstanding anything contained in section 309 of the Indian Penal Code, any person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumed, unless proved otherwise, to have severe stress and shall not be tried and punished under the said Code."