Development and implementation of the London Early detection And Prevention (LEAP) service in an inner London prison setting

Presentation First Author: 
Lucia Valmaggia

In this talk we describe the development and implementation of LEAP. LEAP is an innovative service providing early detection and early intervention for emerging mental health problems within a prison setting. The service offers tailored interventions to prisoners and their families with the objective of preventing the onset of severe mental health problems and family breakdown.Our work to date has demonstrated the feasibility of implementing early detection of psychosis within prison and, at the same time, has brought to light that prevention work in mental health should not be focused solely on the psychosis risk, but rather on the full range of potentially serious mental health disorders.A key finding of our earlier work is that, in addition to the 5% of prisoners identified with At Risk Mental State for psychosis, a further 11% were experiencing other emerging mental health problems. Currently prison mental health services have no provision for these individuals until they develop more severe mental health problems. Furthermore, the link between prison and community services after release is often problematic and there is a need for 'gate-work in the weeks before release to help prisoners to prepare for their reintegration into the community. Central to this issue is the finding indicating that a chaotic and disrupted family and social support network can result in a range of problems, which contribute to coming back to prison. Importantly, family support can reduce the risk of inmates becoming socially isolated.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
Additional Authors: 
Manuela Jarrett - Catherine Campbell - Majella Byrne - Juliana Onwumere - Vyv Huddy - Tom Craig - Andrew Forrester
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