The State Liberals will assist South Australians struggling with borderline personality disorder (BPD) by establishing a specialist statewide BPD Service if elected to office in March 2018.
BPD can have a devastating impact with sufferers experiencing distressing emotional states, difficulty in relating to other people and having a tendency to self-harm, including suicide.
A Marshall Liberal Government will provide $10 million funding over the next four years to operate the BPD Service.
The Liberal policy includes elements focussing on new mothers, their babies and young people but not to the exclusion of others with BPD.
“One of the most important policy objectives of a State Liberal Government will be improving the mental health of South Australians dealing with psychiatric disorders,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“After 16 years in government Labor’s policy responses to mental health issues are stuck in the past, increasingly out of touch and ineffectual.
“With up to 68,000 South Australians experiencing BPD there is a desperate need for a co-ordinated, state-wide response that offers effective medical support for people grappling with the debilitating psychiatric disorder.”
The BPD Service will be based on the following five elements:
Clinical Service: Hubs within local health networks will be established to enable dedicated medical, nursing and allied health staff to focus of people with severe BPD.
Services for at-risk clients with severe and complex BPD: Dedicated acute, outpatient therapeutic services for people with severe BPD.
Family, Carer and Recovery Supports: Funding for clients, their families and carers including assistance with casework, housing and employment services.
Early Years and New Mothers Program: Hospital and outpatient services, including at Helen Mayo House, for mothers of infants and young children who have BPD.
Young People Program: Support for young people at risk of developing BPD.
This policy is a part of the Liberal teams broader 2036 commitment to address the mental health needs of South Australians with the same urgency as other health issues and, over time, rebalance resources towards mental health services.
The proposed statewide BPD service includes dedicated acute services for people with severe and complex BPD who - as the Coroner’s court heard this week – are often at severe risk of suicide.
In the last two years, at least a dozen young South Australia with BPD have taken their own lives. (Data source: Indaily, 7 Sept 2017 “Coroner to investigate deaths of young BPD sufferers”).