The final report of the research produced and funded by CEP on ¨Probation officers’ knowledge of, and attitudes to, mental illness in Europe¨ is now available.

The study and the final report were conducted by Professor Charlie Brooker – Royal Holloway, University of London and Professor Karen Tocque – University of Chester.


There is a high prevalence of mental illness in probation including suicide. It is important for probation staff to recognise mental illness and to refer on to an appropriate agency once it is detected. Probation’s staff knowledge about mental illness was therefore examined across Europe in this study using a well validated measure – the Mental Health Literacy Scale (MHLS). Response rates within services and countries varied widely from 0-74%. Scores on the MHLS also varied considerably from 113-138 with an average score of 128. This overall average score is similar other groups of the population such as university students and the clergy. There was a strong association between knowledge and confidence in working with people with a mental illness. The policy implications of these findings are discussed. It is clear there is a continuing role for CEP in this arena especially in the light of the Council of Europe’s recent White Paper on mental health in probation and in prisons.

Check the full report through this link.

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