The purpose of this paper is to report on the evaluation of a one-day mental health wellness workshop which was delivered to male prisoners in an urban prison in the Republic of Ireland.
A mixed methods approach was used to evaluate the workshop. This paper presents the findings of the qualitative arm of the evaluation. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured telephone interviews with ten participants who had completed the programme.
The participants were overwhelmingly positive about the wellness workshop and the qualitative interviews articulated the ways that the workshop impacted on their ability to manage their own and other peoples mental health.
As prisons attempt to limit the negative impact of prison life, implementing recovery orientated approaches such as the wellness workshop can have a positive impact on prisoners’ mental health as well as raising their awareness and improving their attitudes towards mental distress and suicide. The concepts of self-help and peer support, espoused by the workshop offer a real opportunity to equip interested prisoners with skills to support themselves and other prisoners who are in distress.
This evaluation was funded by a grant from Suicide or Survive and the National Office for Suicide Prevention, Ireland. The authors declare no conflict of interests.
Keogh, B., McBennett, P., deVries, J., Higgins, A., O’Shea, M. and Doyle, L. (2017), "Prisoners perceptions of a mental health wellness workshop", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 81-90. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-03-2016-0008
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