World news story

UK and Namibia working together for mental health in the Correctional Service Sector

UK provides training for Namibian correctional services for dealing with inmates with mental health needs

Course participants together with the facilitators.

Course participants together with the facilitators.

The British High Commission, in cooperation with Namibia Correctional Services, the UK College of Policing and the Legal Assistance Centre, on Monday, 09 November 2015, opened a 5 day training course for 20 Namibian Correctional Service Officers at the Gobabis Correctional Facility. The course is focusing on “Capacitating Correctional Services on Mental Health Needs for People in conflict with the law”. The course is being conducted by British expert Inspector Michael Brown, UK College of Policing, and Yolande Engelbrecht, Paralegal Gender Research & Advocacy Project, LAC, and is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through its bilateral fund with £12.000 (~250.000,- N$).

The course covers a wide range of topics, among them special training on: Mental Health awareness for Criminal Justice, the rights of prisoners with mental health disorders, and “How to address the needs of safer detention and restraint”. Furthermore it covers the importance of working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, including courts and police – as well as social care and health. Hans-Christian Mahnke, Political Officer of the British high Commission, stated at the opening: “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.”

The main facilitator of the course is the UK’s College of Policing national coordinator for mental health Inspector Michael Brown. In June 2015 Inspector Michael 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. If you have questions on mental health and police work, he tweets as @mentalhealthcop.

The British High Commission would like to express its gratitude to the Namibia Correctional Services, the UK College of Policing and the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) for an excellent cooperation.

Published 10 November 2015