Batey, Sarah (2019) How Useful is the Implementation of Staff Awareness Training in Suicide and Self-Harm Reduction: Perspectives of Frontline Staff. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.


Suicide and self-harm (SASH) within the prison estate is a prevalent issue. Figures indicate 325 deaths in prison in the 12 months leading to December 2018, of which 92 were self-inflicted, and 52, 814 incidents of self-harm- up a considerable 23% from the previous year.

Explanations to why SASH manifest greater in prison are manifold; prison experiences exacerbate mental health through the deprivation of liberty, goods, heterosexual relationships, autonomy and security. SASH can be considered a coping strategy or (mal)adaption to these deprivations.

As a response to this, the prison service has a SASH training package, delivered annually to frontline staff to aid SASH prevention.


A mixed methods design was used incorporating frequency data from 61 post-training evaluation forms and 7 30-45 minute semi-structured interviews with frontline prison staff. A thematic analysis was used to identify codes from the interview data, and these were contextualised by the post-training evaluation form descriptive analyses.


Of the 61 post-training evaluation forms, 56 stated the training was highly effective in achieving course aims. However, of those interviewed, it is clear that this effectiveness was in delivery of procedural content only, such as the use of the ACCT. Knowledge and awareness delivery of mental health and SASH was ‘basic’, ‘boring’, and ‘tick box orientated’. Staff feel unsupported in mental health provision and guidance post-training.


Effective training methods embody a level of ‘control’ and input from adult learners and training delegates. Participants want to be active ‘learners’ in SASH, seeking knowledge to support person-centred care of prisoners as well as the ability to follow procedure.

Following this, implications for future SASH practice and policy are highlighted in an applicable model to fit current prison regime and training resources.

FINAL THESIS - Batey.pdf - Accepted Version
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