Press Release

Minister McEntee attends conference promoting the collaboration between Samaritans Ireland and the Irish Prison Service

Helen McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health, today attended a conference promoting the collaboration between Samaritans Ireland and the Irish Prison Service.

At the event, she said, “We are all aware that the prison population is a particularly vulnerable cohort – the prevalence of mental health problems is significantly higher in prison than it is in the wider population. 35% of people in prison will experience a mental health problem compared to roughly 25% of the general population. Generally, when we speak about positive mental health, we encourage those who are having difficulties to connect with their family, friends and communities. Prisoners often do not have access to these supports. Therefore, it is very important that the prison environment is a supportive one for those in custody.”

She added that, “Samaritans have over 60 years of expertise in the area of emotional well-being and the Listener cheme makes it possible to bring the work they do into the prison environment and provide a safe space for prisoners who are struggling to cope. I very much welcome this partnership which plays a key role in safer custody within the prison environment.”