Samaritans of the Isle of Wight supports HMP Isle of Wight, which consists of two units: Albany and Parkhurst, both of which are situated in Newport. The prison holds over 1100 male prisoners.
We train and support specially selected prisoners to become Listeners to other inmates who may be experiencing feelings of despair and distress and may also be having suicidal thoughts, so hopefully reducing the number of self inflicted deaths, reducing self harm and helping those who are in distress.
Listeners act in the same way as Samaritans regarding confidentiality, whereby any contacts they have as Listeners are kept strictly confidential between the Listener, the contact and Samaritans. Members of the Samaritans prison team go into each unit fortnightly, or more often if required, when Listeners will debrief to us about their contacts and also any issues they may have about how the scheme is working.
September 2016 sees the 25th anniversary of the Listener scheme in the prison.