Friday, February 23, 2018
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A psychosocial team from the National Hospital Guido Valadares (HNGV), in Dili, provides mental support services to prisoners at Becora Prison.

A psychosocial team from the National Hospital Guido Valadares (HNGV), in Dili, provides mental support services to prisoners at Becora Prison.

HNGV Chief of Psychiatric Services Dr. Gaspar Quintão said medical doctors have been placed in the prison, to check prisoner’s mental health condition whereas the health personnel from the National Hospital provide weekly treatment in the prison, including but not just for mental illness.
He informed, the prisoners who commit crime may have mental issues and in the end they end up in the prison.
"Crime is one thing, and the mental condition is another, we treat the mental issue and make a report to the court about their progress," he said in Dili.
He explained further that those deemed having a mental disorder, once treated and recovered will be free to leave.
He informed that at this stage there is a total of 16 prisoners in Becora prison that suffer from mental illnesses.
He said they also go to visit other prisons in Timor-Leste such as Suai and Gleno, but this is not a regular weekly visit; they try to do three visits per month due to bureaucracy and authorization issues.
He went onto say that depending on the mental illness there are four types of treatment, such as physical observation, psychotherapy (talk to the patient), give medication and with the last type being about rehabilitation, so patients can do routine activities.
The Director of the Gleno Prison, Mito dos Santos said they have very good cooperation with the health center in the Muniucipality of Ermera, where treatment takes place for the general patients and mental illiness patients every Thursday.
"We have 3 prisoners who suffer mental illness and who are undertaking treatment," he said.
He added, there is a total of 128 prisoners currently serving sentences at the Gleno prison.

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