Last week, the Disabilities Trust’s Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Dr Ivan Pitman, undertook a series of radio interviews to discuss The Trust’s recently published in-cell self-help tools for prisoners with acquired brain injury (ABI). We wanted to offer people a second chance to tune in to this important issue.

Research undertaken by The Disabilities Trust found higher rates of anxiety and depression for prisoners with ABI. There are concerns that whilst offenders may be confined in their cells for up to 23 hours a day to protect them from coronavirus, this isolation may exacerbate symptoms.

Dr Pitman was interviewed by 12 local and national radio stations, in a marathon broadcast session, which was then syndicated to reach hundreds more stations and amounting to over 20 hours in airtime. A resulting podcast can be listened to by clicking on this here. During these interviews, Dr Pitman discussed the new series of self-help interventions aimed at reducing the impact of increased isolation. This includes In-Cell Neurorehabilitation Intervention Packs to address some of the cognitive, behavioural, emotional and psychological symptoms of brain injury, which may be heightened during this time.

Dr Pitman said “It was a great experience to share our work with so many different radio stations, including Sky Radio News and to demonstrate ways in which we are still able to help men and women in prison with an acquired brain injury despite these difficult times. The self-help packs enable offenders to work on some of the cognitive, behavioural and psychological symptoms of brain injury, which may be made worse by the long hours in isolation. Previous research by The Trust has demonstrated just how prevalent brain injuries are within the Criminal Justice System (47% in men and 64% on women) and I was grateful for the opportunity to share this work.

The nine individual packs cover symptoms and consequences of brain injury, such as anxiety, depression, poor memory, impulsivity and aggression. Each document contains of a summary of the difficulties faced after brain and then five to ten interventions for the user to try.

You can access these intervention packs for free on The Disabilities Trust’s website here and they are available to all establishments across the Criminal Justice System to help men and women address the symptoms of ABI during this difficult time.

To find out more, email foundation@thedtgroup.org or call 01444 239123.

You can also listen to the radio interview here.