What types of mental health programs are offered in a prison? A prison’s Health Services Division publishes data on mental health services provided in prisons. Some facilities offer more mental health services than others, and there are no waiting lists for these services. Others offer only substance abuse treatment. In prisons, prisoners have access to specialized mental health services like peer support. A prison’s Peer Support Service promotes wellness and helps inmates with mental illnesses or disabilities reach their goals. The staff of this program receives specialized training, and they serve as a bridge between prison and society.
All prisoners must be assessed by a qualified mental health professional before being placed in custody. Those with scores of three or higher must have an individualized treatment plan developed for them. Prisons may also offer crisis intervention services for inmates with severe mental health issues, such as depression or suicidal behavior. The Department of Corrections (DOC) must assess every person before they admit someone to a prison.
DOC has revised the definition of “Serious Mental Illness” to better capture the most severe forms of the disorder. The revised definition also better connects people with the resources they need. Recovery-model individual treatment plans are developed with the inmate’s participation. These plans are written to help inmates reach their treatment goals. They also provide a safe environment. The new mental health services in prisons are becoming more accessible.