A new investigation has revealed appalling treatment taking place at the scandal-hit Brook House immigration removal centre highlighting the impact on detainees’ mental health.
The report by Neha Gohill of the The News Movement reveals enforced isolation, poor healthcare and detainees driven to suicide at the removal centre which is already the subject of a public inquiry as reported on The Justice Gap.
New interviews with current and former detainees reveal a catalogue of concerns including individuals have been kept in detention for up to three years described by the Inspector of Prisons as ‘unacceptably long’. According to the report, the impact on detainees’ mental health is considerable with centre missing as much as 70% of its mental health team. ‘The overriding concern I have as a doctor about Brook House is how harmful to health and how harmful to mental health it is,’ commented Dr Rachel Bingham, who has been providing medical support to detainees at Brook House and elsewhere for more than 10 years. ‘It’s fair to say most of our clients have observed other people very distressed, very agitated, severe mental health problems, self harm, suicide attempts, so that kind of feeds into an escalating distress for many of our clients.’
It was claimed that those who complain are threatened with isolation for days at a time. The News Movement identified at least four cases where individuals were kept in isolation for three or more days; one was left in isolation for six days, even when suffering from medical problems and suicidal thoughts.
The full investigation, with interviews, can be read here.