Mental health staff from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), are supporting female offenders to increase their physical activity and improve their mental wellbeing. Women from offender personality disorder services at HMP/YOI Low Newton in Durham, have taken part in Tai Chi taster sessions to reduce stress.
Lee Partis, a qualified Tai Chi instructor working as a psychological therapist at TEWV, attended the prison and delivered taster sessions to a number of women from the Primrose and PIPE (psychologically informed planned environment) services. He was also filmed for a programme on the prison’s television channel which is available to all prisoners.
Why Tai Chi?
Lee said “Tai Chi is a relaxing exercise which combines deep breathing with flowing movement and has been associated with improving mood disturbances.
“Throughout my professional career I have held Tai Chi sessions for both service users and staff, including those within prisons, and have found it is a great way to promote psychological wellbeing. It’s something that people of all abilities can do and doesn’t require much room, making it an ideal exercise for people to perform in their cells.
Claire Bainbridge, consultant forensic psychologist from offender health services at the Trust said “At TEWV we are committed to supporting people’s recovery. We know that engaging people in meaningful activity, motivating them to make positive changes and supporting them to develop social connections helps people lead a more satisfying life which impacts their overall wellbeing.”
“The primrose and PIPE services support women with personality difficulties and the behaviours associated with these. Engaging in calming activities which promote emotional stability, well-being and pro-social behaviour is helpful in reducing repeat serious offending and risk to others whilst in custody.”
Was this information useful? Please let us know by clicking here.