Campaign for a Personality Disorder Pathway in Derbyshire

The (lack of) treatment I received from my local mental health services when I needed it most, had disastrous consequences for me and for my severely disabled wife. Two years later, when in ‘recovery’, I set up the Derbyshire BPD Support Groups and have since been campaigning for a personality disorder pathway in Derbyshire.

The following piece appeared in the Autumn/Winter 2018 edition of 1in4, the newsletter of Mental Health Together (MHT). You can read it below, or follow this link:

MHT 1in4

I run the Derbyshire Borderline Personality Disorder Support Group with the help of four friends. Earlier this year I produced a document entitled ‘Why there should be a Personality Disorder Pathway in Derbyshire’. With the support of MHT I was given the opportunity to make a PowerPoint presentation about this issue at one of the Joined Up Care Derbyshire workshops on 27 September 2018.The main focus of the presentation was to highlight the lack of knowledge of, and services for, all personality disorders (PDs), but especially Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This is the most common PD amongst women, and I have battled with it myself for many years. PDs are misunderstood and highly stigmatised. Indeed, some health and social care professionals still believe they cannot be managed and so are not worth the time and resources. Three years ago I was in crisis, but I now make presentations similar to the one at the JUCD to groups such as the Samaritans and Jobcentre work coaches. I am an example of how, with the right treatment (private, in my case), recovery can occur, and a personality disorder can be managed.
I sincerely hope that decision-makers bring about a PD Pathway in Derbyshire. It would involve educating health and social care professionals, police, probation officers and prison officers. There are many people in prison with personality disorders. Investing in treatment early on would save hundreds of thousands of pounds keeping these people out of prison. A pathway would require proper assessment, referral and re-referral, as well as adequate treatment and on-going care. In other words, the same as what people with other disorders qualify for. One in ten people with BPD end their own lives. Surely, it is time something was done!!??