Eight doctors and medical personnel, alongside with ten prison officers working in six penitentiary institutions in North Macedonia enhanced their knowledge on mental healthcare management in prisons. This two-day session took place on 16-17 November 2022 in Skopje – the first ever such training for professionals working in prisons. Staff from the Ombudsman’s National Prevention Mechanism and the External Oversight Mechanism units also attended as external participants, sharing their findings with the participants.
International standards and best practices, risk and protective factors in prisons, different types of disorders, as well as potential treatments were discussed with the participants, both from the medical and security perspective. The views of the Ombudsman’s representatives contributed to the discussion, along with the practical dilemmas the practitioners face in working with incarcerated persons.
Prisons in North Macedonia have serious shortage of medical personnel and mental healthcare professionals, making it even more important to have the present ones well trained. Enhancing the capacities of the medical personnel, together with putting in place Standard Operational Procedures on provision of effective healthcare in prisons, are some of the ways in which this action helps the country address the critical challenges identified with the CPT reports.
This activity was organised under the action on “Enhancing the capacities of the penitentiary system and the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia”, which is a part of the joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022".