Who are we?
Bedford Row Family Project was set up almost twenty years ago to provide emotional support for families affected by imprisonment. Our approach is very much client centred aiming to empower family members as they deal with their challenges in life. We provide teas , coffees and art materials for visitors at Limerick prison while waiting to visit their loved ones. We also provide counselling for prisoners working in partnership with other agencies providing services within the prison. We provide play therapy for children affected by imprisonment and run a weekly children’s after-school group, as well as Christmas and summer activities for families. A number of support groups are facilitated at our premises in Bedford Row for both women and men during periods when a family member is in prison and for families and individuals following imprisonment as they readjust to life on the outside. We also offer a story telling group and art classes facilitated by LCETB teachers. We run a 2 year Family Support Course so that those interested in supporting people in the community of families affected by imprisonment can learn the emotional skills, boundaries etc. necessary to do so effectively.
Over 80 percent of prisoners have addiction problems and they and their families also have considerable mental health challenges. While what is commonly known as ‘depression’ is common, more serious conditions (e.g. bi-polar and and varying degrees of schizophrenia) also affect prisoners. It is also worthy of note that four percent of remand prisoners and two percent of sentenced prisoners have experience of psychosis. The suicide risk among prisoners and for individuals following release has been calculated as six times greater than among the general population. Indeed it has been argued that following the closure of the large psychiatric hospitals individuals with mental health problems unable or unwilling to engage with psychiatric services often find themselves serving periods of imprisonment.
Importance of Limerick Mental Health Week
Because of the connection between imprisonment and mental health it is an area of great interest for Bedford Row. We are committed to building on the good community links established over the past number of years to enhance services offered in any way we can.
BEDFORD ROW FAMILY PROJECT
Lower Bedford Row, Limerick V94 PT93
Phone: 061 315332; Fax: 061 310016