Administration of Justice: Mental Health

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 3rd March 2017.

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Photo of Andrew Bingham Andrew Bingham Conservative, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessments she has made of the effectiveness of the training provided to (a) court staff and (b) members of the judiciary on identifying and supporting court users with a mental health condition.

Photo of Andrew Bingham Andrew Bingham Conservative, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what training is provided to (a) court staff and (b) members of the judiciary on identifying and supporting court users with a mental health condition.

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

All Ministry of Justice employees are required to complete a mandatory Equality and Diversity training module which makes specific reference to mental health conditions and supporting vulnerable customers. In addition, Mental Health Awareness courses have also been delivered to employees across the country and frontline court training materials also link into the ‘Every Witness Matters’ handbook to ensure that employees are aware of the potential impact that a mental health condition may have on a court user. Colleagues working in National Business Centres have been provided with specific training on ‘Dealing with Traumatic Calls’.

Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, responsibility for the training of the judiciary rests with the Lord Chief Justice as Head of the Judiciary. Training on mental health issues is limited to awareness in order to help judges ensure that all court users are treated equally and fairly. Judges are able to access advice and guidance on this through the Equal Treatment Bench Book which is publicly available at: https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications/equal-treatment-bench-book/

Data relating specifically to the effectiveness of the training is not held but the department is committed to the continued development of initiatives to ensure employees can support customers who may be suffering from a mental health condition.

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