Preventing suicide and self harm

People in prison are known to be at a higher risk of suicide and self-harm than the general population. Mental health disorders and illnesses are believed to be up to five times more prevalent among prisoners.

Every prisoner is interviewed when they arrive at prison to identify any mental health needs and to see if they show any signs of being at-risk of suicide or self-harm.

At-risk units

For prisoners identified as at-risk we have 14 specifically designed at-risk units. The units accommodate prisoners who have been assessed as potentially suicidal or wanting to self-harm.

These cells have limited fixtures and fittings and have been designed to reduce the ability to self-harm. The cells are under 24-hour camera observation. Special clothing and bedding is also provided to minimise opportunities to self-harm.

Mental health needs

If a prisoner is identified as having mild to moderate mental health needs they can be referred to health services at their prison for treatment.

To support prisoners with serious mental health needs we work closely with Regional Forensic Mental Health Services and District Health Boards.

Prisoner wellbeing concerns

If you are worried about a prisoner’s wellbeing contact the prison’s reception to discuss it.