13 prison officers trained to ID mental health issues

Thirteen ranks from the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) on Sunday graduated from mental health training. The graduation was held after the ranks completed a five-day mental health training course under the guidance of Senior Psychologist, Dr Balogun Osunbiyi.

The prison officers who graduated from the course

At the simple graduation ceremony, Director of Prisons (ag), Nicklon Elliot said the GPS not only aims to build the capacity of prisoners but is also ensuring that the staff is exposed to training. He said this will help to promote greater efficacy within the prison service.
“Based on the current budgetary allocations for training, same has been utilised to ensure that staff is exposed to not only institutional training but at the technical level so that they can offer more support and guidance to prisoners, he said.
Meanwhile, in an invited comment, Dr Osunbiyi said the participants are now better prepared to identify and deal with mental health challenges among the prison population.
“In particular, this training course addresses the signs and procedures of mental health issues among the inmates, suicide prevention and self-harm within the incarcerated population, special needs, including gender (the mental health of women prisoners) and age (the mental health of young offenders), among other pressing issues,” Dr Osunbiyi related.
Meanwhile, some 250 ranks have been trained for the year from 19 completed courses, both external and internal. Among the completed courses were: Human Rights, Prison Management, and Supervisory Management.
Additionally, the Prison Service said some 275 ranks have so far been identified for further training for the second half of the year. (G9)