Supporting people with Borderline Personality Disorder

If you live with or support someone who has BPD, caring for them as they manage work, study or other commitments can be a challenge. There are places that can help you to learn more about how best to support the person you care for, as well as looking after your own wellbeing. A carer can be anyone who is involved with caring, or supporting someone with BPD and does not have to be an official title.

Carer information sessions

Introduction to BPD – Carer information sessions – 2 hour online sessions

The online Introduction to BPD – Carer information sessions (PDF 168KB) are designed to provide information and support to South Australian families, partners and friends of someone living with borderline personality disorder (BPD). They aim to increase the understanding of BPD, introduce effective communication skills, self-care and provide links to relevant SA support services. These 2-hour sessions are presented by BPD Co. Lived Experience Project Officer  Carer, BPD Co. clinician and a guest speaker from a relevant SA support service.

To view confirmed dates and registration details: BPD Co Carer Programs | Eventbrite

Supporting someone recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder Carer Peer Group – 4 weeks online session

The Supporting someone recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder Carer Peer Group (PDF 154KB) four-week online peer group is designed to provide information and support to carers, families and friends of people who have been recently diagnosed or have a likely diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD).

Co-designed by carers, the group covers what they wish they had known at the beginning of their journey supporting someone living with BPD.

The group will cover:

  1. BPD symptoms, treatments, recovery
  2. Carer role in recovery
  3. The SA mental health system
  4. Self-care & preparing your carer plan

Participants will be invited to provide anonymous feedback to contribute to the evaluation and ongoing development of the program.

Presented by BPD Co Lived Experience Project Officer Carer and a BPD Co Senior Clinician

To view confirmed dates and registration details: BPD Co Carer Programs | Eventbrite

Crisis support

For a medical emergency, dial 000 and ask for ambulance.

For support in a mental health crisis, dial 13 14 65.

This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days and week and is staff by experienced mental health clinicians.

Information and support for carers

  • BPDSA provides a central point for information for consumers, carers, family members and health providers about Borderline Personality Disorder and the support services including referral requirements, available in South Australia.
  • Carers SA provides links to carers groups, and counselling to offer advice and support.
  • Carer Gateway the pathway for carer support in South Australia from May 2020.
  • Australian BPD Foundation is a useful website offering resources and information, as well as links to engage with local services state by state, for both carers and people with BPD.
  • Sanctuary SA offers a peer led support group in Adelaide, meeting regularly, for carers of people living with BPD.
  • Family Connections a short course designed for people who support or care for someone with BPD. Participants learn skills to navigate symptoms of BPD and learn about treatment theories and practices, with a focus on carer wellbeing.
  • NEABPD The overarching organisation linked to Family Connections, many useful resources from webinars, covering psychoeducation and how to respond better to someone you care about who has BPD.
  • Young Carers Network website links to support services, financial help, stories and events.
  • Youth Beyond Blue provides tips for young people
  • Children of Parents with a Mental illness not only has information for children, but also family members supporting them and their parents.

Practical assistance

You may be eligible for assistance with caring for someone, contact the below agencies to find out more and specific eligibility requirements.

Your wellbeing

It is important as a carer to look after your own wellbeing. Looking after your own health first will mean you are better able to support your loved one when they need it.

If you’re wanting tools to help you look after your health and wellbeing, Reachout has a compiled list of the 60 best tools and apps for young people, rated by young people and clinicians.

The Lived Experience Telephone Support Service has developed lots of peer informed (consumers and carers) self-help resources.

Telephone helplines for support run by non-government services (when not in crisis):

For more information on crisis services, please visit the Help in crisis situations web page.


Below is a list of useful fact sheets for families, partners and carers, courtesy of Project Air, which can be found on Project Air Fact Sheets webpage:

  • the basics – for families, partners and carers
  • effective communication – for families, partners and carers
  • understanding self-harm and suicidal thinking – for families, partners and carers
  • strategies for effective communication and healthy relationships – for families, partners and carers
  • helpful tips for challenging relationships – for families, partners and carers
  • managing anger – for families, partners and carers
  • looking after yourself – for families, partners and carers.