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Providing mental health services in prisons during the covid-19 pandemic – challenges and opportunities for growth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Radha Kothari, Andrew Forrester, Neil Greenberg, Natasha Sarkissian, Derek K. Tracy

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Psychology Forum
Issue number333
PublishedSep 2020

King's Authors


The impact of Covid-19 makes provision of mental health care in prisons particularly challenging. The current impact on staff and prisoners is significant. Staff are under pressure to make ongoing adaptions to how they work and the interventions they are able to offer, whilst increased time spent in lock down and a reduction in services is having a negative effect on the mental health and wellbeing of prisoners. The potential for longer term deleterious consequences is also great given the currently high levels of psychological distress. Clinical psychologists could be invaluable in supporting staff and adaptations to services so support is maintained, but providing this increased level of support within an already stretched system is challenging, particularly given that prisons are predominantly staffed by forensic rather than clinical psychologists. The need for an adequate level of clinical psychology provision within prisons may never have been greater.

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