UK training Nam prison officers on mental health

10 Nov 2015 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 10 NOV (NAMPA) - The Governments of Namibia and the United Kingdom (UK) are collaborating to address problems faced by inmates with special mental health needs in Namibia.
This was revealed by the British High Commission's Political and Press Officer, Hans-Christiaan Mahnke in a media statement availed to Nampa on Tuesday.
The media statement said the British High Commission in cooperation with Namibia's Correctional Services, the UK College of Policing and the Legal Assistance Centre on Monday started a training course for 20 Namibian Correctional Service officers at the Gobabis Correctional Facility in the Omaheke Region.
Mahnke said the five-day course focuses on capacitating correctional services officers on mental health needs of people in conflict with the law.
The course is being conducted by British policing expert, Inspector Michael Brown of the UK College of Policing, as well as Yolande Engelbrecht of the Paralegal Gender Research and Advocacy project at the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC).
The course is being funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office through its bilateral fund with 12 000 British Pounds which is equivalent to around N.dollars 260 000.
The course covers a wide range of topics, including special training on mental health awareness for criminal justice; the rights of prisoners with mental health disorders and how to address the needs of safe detention and restraint.
The course also covers the importance of working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, including courts and police, as well as people involved in social care and health.
Speaking at the official opening of the course, Mahnke said: “I am extremely proud of the strong links that have been built up between British police specialists from our elite College of Policing in Bramshill and security sector agencies in Namibia – and the strong leadership provided from the very highest levels of the Ministry of Safety and Security, here represented today by the Namibia Correctional Service (NCS), to empower correction service officers with specific knowledge with British support.”
In June 2015, Inspector Brown was awarded the prestigious President’s Medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists for his work on mental health within policing.
The College of Policing’s national mental health coordinator received the award for his outstanding contribution to mental health and psychiatry.
The course ends on Friday.