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Fears over mental health in jails.

THE government must do more for the mental health of prisoners, a conference was hearing today.

Three-quarters of male inmates in England and Wales are affected by two or more mental health problems including disorders such as schizophrenia, the event was being told.

Delegates at the London conference, organised by the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) and the mental health charity Mind, were expected to hear that two- thirds of men in jail are diagnosed with a personality disorder.

Two-fifths show symptoms of at least one neurotic disorder such as depression, anxiety and phobias.

Among the general population less than a fifth of men are affected by these disorders, a PRT spokesman said.

Men in prison also have a high rate of severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia or delusional disorders - nearly 10per cent compared with less than 1per cent of the general population, he added.

One in five male prisoners has attempted suicide at some stage in his life and the same number has previously been admitted for in-patient psychiatric care, according to PRT figures.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 5, 2004
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