And then there are the friends who may be experiencing similar difficulties and who have to face the loss of an associate while wrestling with the possibility of suicide as a potential solution to their own problems.
So what has caused this increase in suicides? Is it accurate to surmise it is because of the increase in prisoner population? Or is it because there are fewer staff? A reduction in staff numbers causes greater isolation for prisoners as it curtails activity and occupation as a result.
There has also been a rise in violent incidents in prisons. And a toxic mixture of boredom, loneliness and physical inactivity allows people to ruminate and dwell on hopelessness and powerlessness.
The increase in use of novel psychoactive substances also has a relatively unknown but deleterious effect on the mental wellness of anyone who takes them.
As professionals we recognise the complex health and care needs of people in prison. The solution is how to deliver the care that is required. A shift in culture that allows for recovery and rejuvenation may sound naïve but it comes from a place of experience.
Your own wellbeing as a staff group has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the people you deliver care to. This is a really good place to start: building on what we have already and supporting the expertise and experience of all staff in prisons who must be allowed to work together to safeguard and assure this most vulnerable of patient groups.