Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a common mental illness which is associated with a significant degree of distress and impairment.
Carers, families, partners and friends supporting people with Borderline Personality Disorder
If you live with or care for someone who has BPD, supporting them as they manage work, study or other commitments can be a challenge. There are services that can help you learn more about how to effectively support them, while also looking after your own wellbeing. A carer is anyone who is in a relationship or has a supporting role, they do not need to have an official title.
Carer Peer Program
Our carer peer program provides information and support to unpaid carers, families, partners and friends of someone living with BPD. All workshops are free, and open to people supporting someone living in SA. Download the Carer Peer Program flyer (PDF 245KB) for more information.
Carer information sessions (2 hours)
Introduction to BPD – Monthly online sessions aim to increase understanding of BPD, introduce effective communication skills, self-care and provide links to BPD carer supports. Hear from the carer lived experience presenter, BPD Co clinician and guest speaker from a relevant SA carer support service.
Carer peer group (4 weeks)
Supporting Someone Recently Diagnosed with BPD – The online OR face-to-face peer group is for unpaid supporters of people recently diagnosed or likely to have a diagnosis of 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:
- BPD symptoms, treatments, recovery
- Carer role in recovery
- The SA mental health system
- Self-care & preparing your carer plan
Family Connections™ (12 weeks)
Family Connections is coordinated by NEABPD-Australia. The program is delivered over 12-weeks, meeting for 2-hours per week to provide education, skills training and support for people in a caring relationship with someone who has BPD. Groups are available in metro Adelaide and are also delivered online for regionally located carers.
Register for the Family Connections waitlist. NEABPD Australia will contact you when a group opens in your area.
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.
You may be eligible for assistance with caring for someone, contact the below agencies to find out more and specific eligibility requirements.
- Centrelink – financial assistance, for more information:
- National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS), psychosocial support may be available as someone with a diagnosis of BPD. Carers may often need to assist in compiling the information to apply, although the process needs to be commenced by the person receiving the service directly.
- Carers Australia have useful information in how to apply and the process
- National Psychosocial Support (NPS) is available through Adelaide Primary Healthcare Network (PHN) for those who may not be eligible for NDIS, but still require a level of psychosocial support. Details can be found on the Psychosocial support for people with severe mental illness Department of Health webpage. In South Australia, the National Psychosocial Support Measure (NPSM) is being led by Neami National.
- Links to Wellbeing may also be a useful service to contact in sourcing supports
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):
- Lifeline - 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue - 1300 224 636 (24 hours) or chat online (3.00 pm to 12.00 am)
- Suicide call back service – 1300 659 467 or online counselling
- Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 or webchat.
- Lived Experience Telephone Support Service (LETSS) - 1800 013 755 (5.00 pm to 11.30 pm)
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.