News article

Workshop addressing mental health needs of inmates in Namibia

UK High Commissioner Jo Lomas opens workshop on mental health for Namibian correctional services

Today, the British funded three-day training workshop on mental health for security personnel was opened by the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Hon Juliet Kavetuna, MP, UK High Commissioner to Namibia, HE Jo Lomas, and the Legal Assistance Centre expert, Adv. Yolanda Engelbrecht, at the Mental Health Unit in Windhoek.

The training is conducted by the Legal Assistance Centre with input from Meunajo Tjiroze, Deputy Commissioner Mental Health Services, Namibia Correctional Services, Mental Health Coordinator at the UK College of Policing, Michael Brown, and UK trained mental health nurse Rosemary Mlilo.

Over 40 security personnel and associated staff will be trained on best practice for addressing the mental health needs of people in conflict with the law.

At the opening, HE Jo Lomas highlighted: “Across the world, correctional service officers deal with people in conflict with the law who have mental health disabilities and disorders. Proportionally the percentage of prisoners with mental health issues is way above average. Similarly a high percentage of the British High Commission’s consular customers have such challenges. We owe it to these people to understand their challenges and to have the skills and capacity to deal with them in an appropriate and understanding manner.”

See the full speech here: Speech by HE Jo Lomas at the Mental Health Workshop (MS Word Document, 30.5KB)

The training at the Mental Health Unit in Windhoek is a follow up project from a project the British High Commission funded last year. In 2015 the British High Commission provided funding to support a week-long workshop for Correctional Service officers in Gobabis to provide them with the skills and information they need to provide for the mental health needs of people in conflict with the law.