Prison life can be a challenge, and grief can make it difficult to cope. Recently we started a bereavement support service in two Scottish prisons, Cornton Vale in Stirling and Addiewell in West Lothian.
In Addiewell, prisoners can access our service through the Prison Chaplain, or in Cornton Vale, there is a self-referral scheme. Although these are relatively new services, both staff and prisoners have responded very positively.
One prisoner commented that "this was the first time in five years that I have been able to share with someone".
People in prison have often suffered multiple and complex bereavements without adequate, or indeed any, support. No one has ever heard their story, and they have never healed. There is usually a deep reservoir of pain and trauma, which the opportunity to share honestly and be heard can help lessen.