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. However, not all people who attempt suicide or self harm are suffering from a mental health disorder or illness.

Every prisoner is interviewed when they arrive at prison to identify any mental health needs and to find out if they are vulnerable to suicide or self-harm.

Intervention and Support Units

For prisoners who are identified as vulnerable to suicide or self-harm, and who need additional support and supervision, we have 14 specifically designed Intervention and Support Units.

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 provided to help keep the person safe.

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.