There was a documentary last week on Channel 4 about the state of the nations prisons, after several prison breakouts.
The statistics are shocking: a rapidly rising prison population and, with the government cuts, dramatically fewer prison guards per prisoner. But the programme also touched on mental health in prisons. Again the statistics for suicide and self-harm are shocking
But none of this should be a surprise when, for example, the prison populations has nearly 10 times the incidence of ADHD compared to the general population. And let’s face it, all sorts of negative emotions will flourish in that atmosphere, particularly depression.
But given all of this, it is staggering that prison guards have absolutely no mental health training. Not only is this a moral imperative, but it would make a massive difference to the safety and efficiency of running the prison.
Well if you’re shocked by this, just wait!
Less than half of trainee GP’s undertake a placement in a mental health setting. And yet, MIND, estimates that a third of GP consultations include mental health issues. If you include stress in that, it goes up to between 75% and 90%. Typically they will see somebody at risk of suicide every couple of days.
I appreciate that because of the system, doctor’s only have 7 minutes with a patient and let’s face it they can’t do anything in 7 minutes. No wonder the UK is the fourth highest dispenser of anti-depressants per head of population in the world, with a doubling of prescriptions over the last 10 years.
It’s about time mental health training was compulsory for everyone in the caring professions. In fact, it should be part of the education system. We need to seriously look at a compulsory GCSE in Life Skills, including mental health, financial management and so on.
The Mark Newey Method is principally about mental health education: when we understand how our mind works and how we create our reality, our ability to deal with stress, anxiety and depression increases dramatically.