Mental Health Services & Support in Prisons

Mental Health Reform has published research entitled ‘Mental Health Services & Supports in Prisons: Service Mapping and Reflections from Lived Experiences’. The report sought to better understand the mental health services and supports available to adults detained in closed-prisons, including the pathways to accessing these resources and potential barriers.

It is increasingly acknowledged globally and in Ireland that many individuals in prison experience mental health difficulties and have a range of needs that are often complex. Despite an increased focus on this issue in recent years, in Ireland there remains an inadequate understanding of the services and supports available.

Ireland’s national mental health policy, Sharing the Vision, commits to offering a range of tiered supports to individuals in the prison system. While much of the previous focus on mental health supports in prisons has been on specialised services, this study reflects the broad range of services available across tiers, in line with Sharing the Vision.

Drawing on the perspectives of prison staff, the voluntary and community sector and the lived experiences of individuals in Irish prisons, this research set out to contribute valuable insight to support key stakeholders in bringing transformative change in addressing the mental health needs of the prison population.


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