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Mental Health

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

What’s the best bit about meeting with your In2Out mentor?

"Their support and getting me ready for release"

"Being able to chat and talk about problems and helping me sort things out."

Just a couple of comments from In2Out participants approaching release from custody.

Moving on from prison, leaving its security and routine behind, and back into a local community can be a tricky transition with many In2Out participants feeling very anxious as their release date approaches. During this time their In2Out mentor works with statutory bodies to help address the practical arrangements, as well as providing emotional support to the participant as they plan their next steps.

A participant’s mental state can have a significant impact on reoffending as it affects their ability to cope with life ‘on the out’. Of the participants choosing to work with In2Out, approximately 37% have mental health issues which can be the result of unstable and traumatic childhoods, chaotic lifestyles or substance misuse. The absence of adequate parental support means that for some, mental health issues remain undiagnosed and untreated.

In2Out mentors can help participants to register with a GP and other health care practitioners on their release from custody. They make sure that their young person knows about the support that is available to them, helps them to access it, and can accompany them to appointments if needed.

Photo by Nathan McDine on Unsplash

Filling time in a meaningful way back in their communities is important but can be difficult. Mentors can help participants find suitable training, education or employment opportunities which can open up possibilities for the future. But finding a job or waiting for openings on courses can be frustrating and boring, leading to a downward mental state. Mentors not only encourage participants during these times but also help with other activities like joining a gym or faith community or finding volunteering opportunities like at the local Foodbank. These not only help to fill the time, but also create engagement with a new circle of people and help create a positive outlook.

The help and support of an In2Out mentor can be invaluable not least because it can help participants realise the role their mental health plays in their offending behaviour.

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