On Thursday and Friday, 26-27th April 2018, Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance organized a workshop in cooperation with Kamuzu College of Nursing to train correctional officers of the Bvumbwe, Chichiri and Zomba prisons in screening for mental disorders among offenders. The training aims at improving the mental health status of offenders by equipping correctional officers with the knowledge, skills and attitudes for screening mental disorders and make appropriate referrals.
Prisons throughout Malawi are overcrowded which results in a higher number of prisoners with mental disorders. Moreover, being in prison already exposes prisoners to different mental and psychosocial challenges, being in overcrowded prisons even increases the pressure. Therefore, there are chances that prisoners develop mental disorders while being imprisoned.
To help prisoners that suffer from mental disorders CHREAA executed this workshop in order to train correctional officers how to screen prisoners and refer those that have been tested positive to receive appropriate treatment in medical facilities. Moreover, they have been briefed about the health rights of offenders, characteristics and causes of mental health or mental illness, types of mental disorder, screening instruments and counselling and therapy.
On the second day of the workshop comprised a practical for all participants to apply the knowledge and instruments for screening and develop a routine on how to conduct the screening.