Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Awareness

Filed under News, Sport & Recreation, UoN ~ by Press on  1 Oct 2019

University of Newcastle Professor named Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Awareness Week 2019 Ambassador.

University of Newcastle Professor of Mental Health Nursing, Professor Mike Hazelton has been announced as the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Awareness Week 2019 Ambassador.

This year’s BPD Awareness Week (1-7 October), BPD: Best Practice Deserved, aims to raise awareness of the disorder, promote best practice interventions, and support legislative change that will increase Medicare-funded visits for BPD and other complex health conditions.

Professor Hazelton has nearly 40 years’ experience in mental health education and research, with extensive clinical experience working with patients living with BPD.

I’m honoured to be the BPD Awareness Week 2019 Ambassador, and look forward to adding my voice to advocate for much needed improvement in care and support for people with BPD and their families and supporters,” Professor Hazelton said. 

People who live with BPD have often been misunderstood and their symptoms misrepresented. Being turned away from care has been a common experience and when care has been offered it has often been of poor quality, inconsistent, lacking in compassion and has not followed best practice guidelines.”

Borderline Personality Disorder is a complex mental disorder with sufferers experiencing symptoms including emotional distress, self-harm, and difficulty relating to others and the world around them. The life span of a person with BPD is almost two decades less than other Australians, and 10% of people with BPD will die by suicide.

Currently between 2% and 5% of Australians are affected by BPD at some stage in their lives. The symptoms of the disorder usually first appear in mid to late teens or in early adulthood, with women three times more likely to be diagnosed with BPD than men.

Professor Hazelton hopes that BPD Awareness Week will drive adoption of clinical practice guidelines, including the implementation of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Practice Guideline, which was finalised in 2012.  

The NHMRC Guideline tells us what works in the treatment of BPD,” he said.

Effective evidence-based treatment for BPD has emerged, but it must be combined with compassion and determination to address stigma.

It is hard to see how significant improvements can be achieved while the current levels of stigma around Borderline Personality Disorder remain largely unchallenged.”

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