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Project Samarthan- For mental health issue among the prisoners

Published: 18th Apr, 2019

Around 7,000 inmates provided counselling by mental health experts at Tihar Jail under project Samarthan.


Around 7,000 inmates provided counselling by mental health experts at Tihar Jail under project Samarthan.


Mental health issues among the prisoners

  • According to the data is issued by the Delhi Tihar Prison, every year about 7-8 prisoners commits suicide.
  • Rise of mental and behavioural disorders amongst the prisoners leads them to commit suicide, murder and aggressive outbursts with fellow inmates.
  • In last few years, prevalence of disorders have markedly increased in prisons due to many reasons like overcrowding, isolation from social network, insecurity about future, delayed judicial proceeding and poor mental health services in prison.

 Project Samarthan

  • It was started in April 2018 by the Delhi Prison Administration in association with the collaboration with NGO Mental Health Foundation and was mentored by the professor Nand Kumar, Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
  • The objective of the project is to provide psychological first aid session or counselling session to reduce the suicide rates in the prison.

Steps taken under this project

  • Approximately 50 trained counsellors with Physiological background were deployed on voluntary basis to assist and sensitise the Tihar inmates about the mental issues.
  • A total of 7,000 inmates of Tihar Jail have been provided counselling by professional by the experts who have been found with such disorders.
  • The Tihar Jail is the second jail after the Pennsylvania Correction Services who are using this technique.

How efficient the steps have been

  • As per the data shared by the Tihar Prison Administration, it shows that the suicide rate has gone down by upto 50 per cent.
  • It has been observed that there is a significant reduction in various forms of violence in Delhi Prisons.
  • Through this process, the jail authority has witnessed a decrease in the cases of disobedience of the instruction of the jail staff. Daily yoga classes and meditation are also provided to the prisoners of Tihar.

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