Mental health research at local training centre

March 21, 2024 9:40 am in by

Prison nurses at the Cadell Training Centre are now undertaking specialist training, with the aim to support the mental health needs of people in custody in rural South Australia.

The trial program forms part of a University of SA research project, aiming to show that specialised skills built through an online education platform can help frontline nurses deliver evidenced-based mental health treatments within the correctional health system.

UniSA’s Associate Professor Martin Jones says the study is addressing pressing, yet underserved, mental health needs of people in custody, especially those in rural areas.

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“People in custody face extremely high rates of depressive disorders. Yet too often people in custody encounter significant barriers to accessing psychological treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or specialist mental health workers,” Assoc Prof Jones says.

“Our online Professional Certificate in Behavioural Activation is ideally suited for people in working in remote areas as it lets students learn at their own pace and in their own time.
“We’re hoping that this opportunity could present custodial nurses with a convenient and accessible means to enhance their skills and contribute to a more responsive local care community. Beyond this, the program has the potential to extend across Australia.”