NIMHANS:Set Of Guidelines On The Management Of Mental Health Issues:
Acting on the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs, NIMHANS, an Institute of National Importance, issued a set of guidelines on the management of mental health issues of the prisoners and prison staff.
- Gatekeeper Model for Identification of Mental Illness:
- In this model, selected inmates, trained to identify prisoners at risk of suicide, would refer them to treatment or supportive services.
- It is a step to prevent suicides triggered by mental health issues in prisons across the country.
- There is prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorder in about 80% of the prison population.
- For Mental Health Treatment:
- Prisoners with mental disorders had to be regularly assessed for severity of suicidal risk and also put on regular and supervised medication.
- To address the prisoner’s mental health needs, the correctional facility should have links to community-based initiatives like the District Mental Health Programme.
- Buddy System for Social Intervention:
- It is a type of social support through trained prisoners called “buddies” or “listeners”.
- It was found to have a good impact on the well-being of suicidal prisoners. Periodic telephone conversations with friends and family would also foster support.
- e-Mulakat is an online platform enabling relatives/friends/ advocates of prisoners to book prior appointments for interviewing prisoners through the National Prisons Information Portal.