An evaluation of Serbian prison mental health services: national survey

Gojkovic, Dina and Brooker, Charlie and Owen, Sara (2008) An evaluation of Serbian prison mental health services: national survey. Psihijatrija Danas (Psychiatry Today), 40 (1). ISSN 0350-2538

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Abstract

Most international studies indicate that the prevalence of mental disorders amongst prisoners is considerably higher than in the general population. The lack of prison health-related research in Serbia inspired the present study, which was a part of a doctoral thesis of the first author. The survey aimed to provide an overview of the profile of offenders with mental health problems in Serbian prisons and the nature of mental health services available to them. The results indicated that much like mainstream community mental healthcare in Serbia, prison mental healthcare is still largely embryonic. The mean number of actual whole time equivalent posts associated with mental healthcare per prison is 2.3. However, these posts are not entirely dedicated to working in mental health as they are often involved in court diversion, administration and general healthcare matters. Large discrepancies were found in weekly volumes of mental health referrals per member of staff depending on the size of the prison. Furthermore, the survey indicated that substance misuse related disorders and dual diagnosis of substance misuse and mental health problems wer the most prevalent issues in Serbian prisons, indicating high need for dedicated substance misuse services. Implications of the findings are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Most international studies indicate that the prevalence of mental disorders amongst prisoners is considerably higher than in the general population. The lack of prison health-related research in Serbia inspired the present study, which was a part of a doctoral thesis of the first author. The survey aimed to provide an overview of the profile of offenders with mental health problems in Serbian prisons and the nature of mental health services available to them. The results indicated that much like mainstream community mental healthcare in Serbia, prison mental healthcare is still largely embryonic. The mean number of actual whole time equivalent posts associated with mental healthcare per prison is 2.3. However, these posts are not entirely dedicated to working in mental health as they are often involved in court diversion, administration and general healthcare matters. Large discrepancies were found in weekly volumes of mental health referrals per member of staff depending on the size of the prison. Furthermore, the survey indicated that substance misuse related disorders and dual diagnosis of substance misuse and mental health problems wer the most prevalent issues in Serbian prisons, indicating high need for dedicated substance misuse services. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Keywords:Prisons, mental health, Serbia, health care surveys, prisoners
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B760 Mental Health Nursing
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Health & Social Care
ID Code:3712
Deposited By: Alison Wilson
Deposited On:23 Dec 2010 13:10
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:51

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