Understanding how best to respond to the needs of Australians living with personality disorder

Mental health Mental health promotion Borderline Personality Disorder Australia

SANE Australia, in partnership with the National Mental Health Commission, is pleased to share this research report.

The report includes a literature review, an environmental scan and a qualitative study and describes:

  • What is known about the prevalence of personality disorders in Australia, including the percentage of people presenting to emergency departments living with personality disorder.
  • Reviewing evidence-based treatments for personality disorder.
  • The barriers faced by Australians living with personality disorder in accessing a level of care sufficient to meet their needs.
  • How people living with personality disorders are impacted by stigma and discrimination.

The report puts forward a number of recommendations to improve mental health care and access to support for people affected by personality disorder.

These include a need to:

  • Conduct a national survey to identify current prevalence of personality disorder in Australia, providing an update to the 1997 figures.
  • Fund further research into treatments for personality disorder other than borderline personality disorder and research that fills knowledge gaps for BPD and other disorders.
  • Obtain national commitment to establish and disseminate existing evidence-based clinical guidelines for the management of BPD.
  • Establishing consistent training and treatment standards to better prepare clinicians to work with personality disorder in an evidence-based and trauma informed way.
  • Take action toward redesigning the mental health system with a focus on efforts to streamline pathways, improve access and reduce financial burden on individuals.
  • Implement strategies to shift assumptions from health professionals that individuals with BPD cannot benefit from psychotherapy.
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