Prison population: mental health needs

Research into mental health issues experienced by people in prison. One of four studies on the health needs of Scotland's prison population.


1. These figures exclude posts funded in two establishments on a time-limited basis through additional funding from Action 15 during 2018 to 2022 (The Scottish Government, 2017). Additionally, where it was reported that the clinical psychology service comprised a range of qualified professionals, total input in sessions is provided in the table.

2. The Care Programme Approach is a method of coordinating mental health care for an individual with severe mental illness, with participation from the multidisciplinary team, and external service providers and agencies where relevant.

3. SPS recognises that among its workforce "there is a mismatch between the culture, roles, and competences currently in place, and those we will need for future success" (Scottish Prison Service, 2016, p. 22), within the context of developing a service which supports those in their care to unlock their potential and fosters opportunities for change.

4. The Listener scheme is a peer-support scheme within prisons, which aims to reduce suicide and self-harm. Listeners are people in prison who provide confidential emotional support to their peers who are struggling to cope or feeling suicidal. They are specially selected and trained for the role by Samaritans volunteers.

5. According to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the SRU is not a suitable place for individuals in acute mental distress; an alternative remedy should be sought (Keenan vs United Kingdom, European Convention on Human Rights, 2001).

6. An example of such a change requiring joint decision-making power at the national level would be amending both the prison regime and NHS practice in order to extend the time window available for health professionals to see their patients in the health centre.

7. The clinical psychology input reported in this table excludes posts funded by Action 15 (The Scottish Government, 2017) as this funding is time-limited. Through Action 15 there are an additional 2 sessions in HMP Grampian (for neuropsychology and older adult service) and 18 sessions in HMP Shotts.

8. The clinical psychology service at HMP Grampian is comprised of neuropsychological, older adult, adult mental health and substance use input.

9. Due to differences in how ethnicity is coded in the Scottish Health Survey and the PR2 system it was not possible to expand ethnicity predictor variable into additional categories.



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