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How to Mentally Support Your Loved Ones in Prison

Mentally Support Your Loved Ones in Prison

Incarceration places a huge amount of mental strain on the individuals that are subjected to it, and if someone you love finds themselves in this situation, you will want to do all you can to help relieve them of some of this burden.

Providing support is not always straightforward, especially if this is your first time facing the prospect of a friend or family member being imprisoned. The following pieces of advice should give you the foundations on which you can build an effective strategy to achieve this.

Stay in touch

Life in prison can be very isolating for inmates, and so having reliable and consistent contact with those on the outside is one of the best ways to make sure that they still feel connected with the world.

Making sure you visit frequently and also stay in touch with regular phone calls to loved ones in prison will provide them with that grounding tether to reality that should keep the darkness at bay.

Of course different facilities have different rules and guidance for visitation, so checking these in advance and analyzing the rights of inmates in each case is important. For example, you can use Midland County jail’s list to find out all there is to know about this particular location, covering everything from visiting hours to the protocols you will need to follow when you arrive.

Keep on top of your responsibilities

Aside from checking in with incarcerated loved ones to see how they are doing, you also need to be proactive about giving them peace of mind with regards to your own state.

If you are not managing to fulfill your own responsibilities in the outside world, then the inmate will be worried about you and also have greater feelings of powerlessness because they can do nothing to intervene. On the other hand, if you are holding down a steady job, sticking to a budget, looking after the other people in your life and generally doing your best to maintain stability, this will be a load off their mind.

Confront your own issues

To be able to effectively support another person, especially if they are in prison, you first need to be able to support yourself. If you bring your own baggage and issues with you when keeping up with a loved one in prison, then this could end up exacerbating their own challenges.

Speaking with a therapist or getting counseling that is specific to your circumstances is a great way to cope with whatever mental complications you are up against at any one time, and is something that you should do even if you are not dealing with the scenario of having a friend or family member put behind bars.

Most importantly, go easy on yourself and be willing to forgive the mistakes you make, as well as those of your nearest and dearest. Forgiveness is a powerful tool in helping you to process past traumas and move forwards positively.