For years, advocates and carers have been appealing to the State Government to set up local services for borderline personality disorder – a mental illness which has been blamed for the deaths of a dozen young South Australians in recent years.
Since 2014, InDaily has published a series of reports on the difficulty and trauma involved in securing appropriate treatment for those with BPD in South Australia, and the stigma surrounding the condition among some health professionals.
During the state election campaign, the Liberal Party promised $10 million for BPD services, including a statewide centre for excellence – a promise later matched by Labor.
This morning, Wade told InDaily the cost of BPD “in terms of health, social services and lost productivity is estimated to be more than $300 million a year in SA”.
“It’s hoped that by setting up the centre of excellence, consumers living with severe and complex BPD will be able to access and receive the most appropriate treatment and supports via a dedicated specialist service, ultimately supporting them to lead a life of their choosing,” he said.
Wade said the government had chosen the 100 Greenhill Road site for the new Statewide Borderline Personality Disorders Centre of Excellence because it would be accessible for people will mental illness and their carers.
“I’m pleased to announce that the centre of excellence will be located close to the city, on the ground floor at 100 Greenhill Road,” he said.
“This location is on the tram and bus routes, making it easily accessible to mental health consumers and their family carers.”
Dr Martha Kent, an Adelaide psychiatrist with expertise in BPD treatment who has advocated for better services for people suffering the disorder, has been appointed clinical lead at the centre.
She said the centre’s aim was to “ensure people living with BPD aren’t excluded from mental health services and other supports”.
“The (centre) will take a holistic approach to engaging with people living with BPD and their families, partners and carers, in a manner that is respectful, inclusive and culturally appropriate.
“BPD is a serious mental illness which needs dedicated support and treatment services, and I am pleased to be part of the new statewide system of care for people living with BPD.”
The centre is due to open, following refurbishments, mid next year.
We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.
InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.