It's two years since we had an Info Night where we could all get together and celebrate BPD Awareness Week, so we did it with aplomb making up for lost time.
It was so good to see each other face to face, and we had a really good time of it. As always we celebrate the journey of recovery and this year Kate MacKay read us her poem of radical acceptance, 'Ten Thousand Ways', Kate is a creative talent and she performed her piece with her self portrait in the background. She moved the audience who were enthralled with her presentation.
Mary O'Hagan, the Director of Lived Experience at the Dept of Mental Health and Wellbeing spoke of the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission. It is good to hear of the changes happening and we appreciate it is not easy to make up for so much disadvantage as we experience in the world of BPD.
Much has happened since the last two years: we have been funded by the Baker Foundation for our Executive Officer, Roy Reekie; we are rebuilding after a form of hibernation during the Covid years; and we said farewell to our Founding Chairperson, Barb Mullen and welcomed Julie Owens in her place as new chairperson. For anyone who might be worried that Barb has fallen off the perch, no need to worry, she will still be volunteering as the Program Manager and will still be on the Board.
Volume 2, Issue 4, October 2020: Prevalence
The prevalence of BPD in Australia is a vexed question. It took a mighty effort to look into the research in order to produce a Position Paper on Prevalence. This issue discusses some key concerns raised by the data on prevalence and looks back on a year of solid hard work in advocacy for BPD Community. Meanwhile our Information Services go from strength to strength and our Family & Friends Program continues to grow and develop. We can't wait to get some funding happening so we can implement our grand designs to change the world of BPD.
The data that is officially relied upon in our mental health system was collected in 1997. That data said there was a rate of 1% for BPD and there are questions about how all the data on prevalence of BPD is collected. For detailed analysis of the data and what it means, see our Position Paper on Prevalence. Or for a simple read, click to download our newsletter opposite.
So, what is the prevalence of BPD in Australia? BPD Community accepts a prevalence of 6%, based on research, the inclusion of subthreshhold diagnosis (diagnostic orphans) and our own experience.
Special Issue, July 2020: COVID-19 Newsletter
"Stay at home" has almost become the COVID-19 mantra. To keep ourselves, our loved ones - especially the elderly - and the larger community safe, we need to stay at home. Metropolitan Melbourne is now going back into lockdown under lockdown until August 19.
This means that once again, there are four reasons to leave home:
Shopping for groceries and other essentials
Caregiving and medical reasons
Work and study if you can't do it at home
But what does this mean if we are no longer comfortable at home? Where do we go if we urgently need a roof over our heads? Who can we talk to?
Although things may seem bleak, there are plenty of people and supports that can help us. All we need to do is ask. This issue explores housing, with insights from Christiaan Bramblebee, NDIS and disability housing knowledge expert and founder of Your Community Home.
Special Issue, June 2020: COVID-19 Newsletter
Social isolation restrictions are beginning to ease up, but we cannot breathe easy yet, the new focus is social distancing. It is not easy, this new world we are in. Since March we have been feeling the stress and anxiety that this pandemic has meant. Our capacity to cope has been tested and still there is hope and optimism that our new world may be a better world.
As we watch the effect upon other countries and the terrible situations they are experiencing, we can feel compassion for their pain and suffering. As we consider those around us who are vulnerable and struggling, we can feel compassion, we can reach out and help. And as we look to our own BPD community, we especially feel compassion and we can work to make a difference.
A recent unpublished study found that one person with BPD each week in Victoria will commit suicide. This is totally preventable. Some of the things required to prevent this are outside our immediate control, others are not. This month's newsletter gives us an update on the situation and also gives us some tips on the things we can do now to make a difference. We feel the hope and optimism that things can change.
Special Issue, May 2020: COVID-19 Newsletter
Wow, what a journey we have all been on! One that we did not ask for and one that took us all by surprise. How are you coping? It is with you in mind we prepared this short newsletter with some wise words from people we can trust.
The skills we need to manage the change that COVID-19 has brought to our lives are the same skills that can help us support each other. It is at times like these that our relationships can be under greater stress and meanwhile social isolation can keep us apart from those we want to be with.
Yes, it is a challenging time, but people with lived experience of BPD can be strong - we have been managing difficult times for years.
Issue 17, Dec 2019 - Challenges and Celebrations
The system is broke, this is acknowledged in the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Mental Health. So what will happen?
The Productivity Commission says that mental illness costs our economy $51 billion, but we only spend $18 billion on mental health.
What is to be done? BPD Community believes that a different approach is needed.
Issue 16, Aug 2019 - Let's fix the system!
The state government acknowledges the system is broken. We know that, it is our daily experience that most people affected by BPD are denied access to treatment and support. We are often reminded that you'd have to be crazy to keep on doing the same thing and expect different results. A paradigm shift on thinking is required.
BPD Community argues to take the focus off 'treatment' and the medical model of medication and put it on 'recovery' and psychotherapy and support. Co-morbidity is the norm with BPD, other Personality Disorders, Drug and Alcohol Disorders, PTSD, Eating Disorders and more, yet dual diagnosis and treatment is rarely available. Families are often blamed and are excluded from the treatment process and are left unsupported.
It's time for change.
Issue 15, Apr 2019 - Exciting new opportunities
There is the opportunity for individuals to have input into both the Federal Productivity Commission and the Victorian Commission into Mental Health.
Did you know that between 1 - 2 % of people with BPD receive treatment? When we know that complete recovery is possible, this is shameful. It is time to directly address the discrimination that people with lived experience with BPD suffer. We can do this by telling our own story, and we can do this anonymously if we wish.
This newsletter explains a bit about these Commissions and how to access them. It also announces the Ambassador Training Program to help prepare those individuals who want to learn how to best tell their story.
Issue 14, June 2018 - BPD, suicide and suicide prevention
BPD, suicide and suicide prevention are important topics in our BPD Community. Research suggests that 10% of people with BPD will commit suicide. Self harm is a serious aspect of the lives of people with BPD and suicide ideation is crippling. Dr Alison Asche and Dr Daniel Rylatt spoke to BPD Community to help with up to date information on this concern and access to helpful resources..
Issue 13, Feb 2018 - the NDIS
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is currently being rolled out across the country. It was originally designed for people with a physical disability, later people with a mental disability were added. How all this affects people with BPD is fraught with difficulties. Sonia Savanah from Carers Vic helps us add light to the confusion.
Issue 12, Oct 2017 - BPD Awareness Week Celebration Night
Every year BPD Community celebrates BPD Awareness Week with its annual Celebration Night. Not only do we recognise the achievements of our community, we also listen to the wisdom of lived experience from Lisa Webb. This issue records this happy event.
Issue 11, June 2017 - Recovery and resources
When we speak of recovery we all have different ideas of what it means. When we look for support for ourselves we struggle to know what is available. These are constant dilemmas that face us in the world of BPD. This issue called on the expertise of two professionals in the field, Ilona Morrison and Tamara Stillwell, to help us through this maze.
Issue 10, Feb 2017 - Why call it BPD?
The name Borderline Personality Disorder is controversial in the world of BPD. The name was originally coined to describe a disorder which sat on the border between psychosis and neuroses. Many if not everyone would agree it should be changed, but what difference would it make? With the help of Prof David Castles we explore this question.
Issue 9, October 2016 - BPD Awareness Week Celebration Night
At the second annual Celebration Night, we acknowledged the achievements of the year and heard the wisdom of Kate Brinly discussing her lived experience with BPD. This was reported in our newsletter to close the year.
Issue 8, August 2016 - The Carer's Voice
The 'technical term' for family & friend's with BPD is 'carer'. The families are those who love someone with BPD have a challenging time especially because of the relational dysregulation aspect of BPD. This complex relationship is explored in this issue. Klavdia Vainstein of Mind explained to us the policy paper on involving carers in the process of care and support for their loved ones.
Issue 7, May 2016 - Stigma and Discrimination
BPD Community's mission is to replace stigma and discrimination with hope and optimism. In May we presented our Position Paper on Stigma and discrimination called 'How SaD' and Dr Sathya Rao gave us insight into this issue from his perspective.