232. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding mental health awareness training within the Irish Prison Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10646/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that mental health training for staff was introduced by the Irish Prison Service in September, 2016.
A bespoke Mental Health Awareness Programme has been developed and is delivered by training staff, nurses and assistant psychologists.  The programme makes staff aware of some of the more fundamental causes of mental health issues and also the appropriate actions to take if a member of staff recognises any of the symptoms.
Since September 2016, over 1,500 staff have been trained and the programme continues to be rolled out to remaining staff.