The Psychology Department at MDC Brooklyn provides mental health services to those inmates who have a history of mental illness and who have difficulty adjusting to incarceration. Staff members are assigned to individual floors in order to expedite the mental health concerns of inmates. Inmates are required to submit an “Inmate Request to see Staff” form in non-emergency situations to the psychology department. Medication for psychiatric patients is usually continued upon admission to the institution. If there is a need for psychiatric medication the inmate will be placed on the list to see the psychiatrist.
It is not uncommon for people to experience depression and hopelessness while in jail or prison, particularly if they are newly incarcerated, are serving a long sentence, are experiencing family problems or problems getting along with other inmates, or received bad news. Sometimes, inmates consider committing suicide due to all the losses they have suffered and pressure they are under. Staff are trained to monitor inmates for signs of suicidality and refer all concerns to the Psychology Department. However, staff do not always see what inmates see. If you are personally experiencing any of the problems noted above, or you or another inmate are showing signs of depression, PLEASE alert a staff member right away. Depression is manifested as sadness, tearfulness, lack of enjoyment in usual activities, withdrawal (staying away from others, refusing phone calls and/or visits), feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach, or hopelessness (giving away possessions, stating that “there is nothing to live for”). Your input can save a life.