Centacare embraces the first National Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Week

Australia’s Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Foundation undertook its first awareness week from October 1 – 7th. The event was supported by Centacare hosting a community education seminar with guest speaker Dr. Peter McKenzie from the Bouverie Centre, an expert on Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD).

With over 60 participants attending the seminar, Dr McKenzie shared his knowledge imparting that BPD is an illness that is best understood and responded to in the context of trauma and attachment relationships, as a relationally based illness, the sufferer is best supported within the context of family and that unlike other mental illnesses, a family’s overly emotional involvement is a constructive element to recovery.

Event organizer Carmel spoke of Centacare’s involvement in the awareness campaign, “As an agency that focusses on disadvantaged and marginalized people, Centacare’s engagement in this initiative is consistent with the services it delivers.  Centacare workers in all programs are continually being challenged in trying to meet the needs of clients who are increasingly presenting with great complexities in their lives. One of these complexities is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) traits, making both engagement and sustained engagement a challenge for workers and the sufferer,” said Carmel.

Centacare’s collaboration with the Australian Borderline Personality Disorder Foundation, Bouverie Centre and Latrobe University in raising awareness of BPD and the nature of the illness as it affects the sufferer, their carers, families and others who support them has been instrumental in drawing media attention and community participation to this little known disorder.

Twenty five Centacare workers also took part in a workshop providing them with additional tools to better meet the needs of clients presenting with BPD and their families.

The overwhelming response from the Ballarat community, welfare sector and media to the Awareness Week activities led by Centacare clearly demonstrates the demand for information and support around this distressing and marginalized illness.