Sri Lanka to check up mental health of all prisoners

The Sri Lankan government has decided to check the mental health of all prisoners countrywide as it has been revealed that most of them are suffering from depression and stress.

According to a top official of Sri Lanka's Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms, prisoners are depressed due to long periods of incarceration and drug addiction. Many of them are also addicted to liquor.

Prison officials, including the Commissioner General of Prisons, held a discussion with Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala and ministry officials on Monday to seek their assistance to provide mental health care to prisoners.

Health Ministry spokesman Dharma Wanninayake said the ministry had immediately taken steps to attach three medical officers, specialised in mental health care, to Welikada, Mahara and Bogambara prison hospitals.

He said that the medical officers would conduct mental health and non-communicable disease checks at those three main prisons.

"We also provide ambulances and necessary drugs to prison hospitals and medical checkups would begin in other prisons, too, shortly," Wanninayake said.