Coroner identifies another mental health scandal

A Coroner’s Inquest finding into the tragic deaths of two young South Australian women suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) highlights the importance of establishing a specialist statewide BPD Service.

“If successful on March 17 a Marshall Liberal Government will invest $10 million establishing a specialist statewide BPD Service to reduce the harm this condition does to so many South Australians,” said Shadow Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink.

“As the Coroner’s Inquest shows BPD can have a devastating impact with sufferers experiencing distressing emotional states, difficulty in relating to other people and having a tendency to self-harm, including suicide.

“One of the most important policy objectives of the Marshall Liberal Government will be improving the mental health of South Australians dealing with psychiatric disorders.

“After 16 years in government Labor’s policy responses to mental health issues are stuck in the past, increasingly out of touch and ineffectual.

“With up to 68,000 South Australians experiencing BPD there is a desperate need for a co-ordinated, statewide response that offers effective medical support for people grappling with the debilitating psychiatric disorder.”

The BPD Service will be based on the following five elements:

  • Clinical Service: Hubs within local health networks will be established to enable dedicated medical, nursing and allied health staff to focus of people with severe BPD.
  • Services for at-risk clients with severe and complex BPD: Dedicated acute, outpatient therapeutic services for people with severe BPD.
  • Family, Carer and Recovery Supports: Funding for clients, their families and carers including assistance with casework, housing and employment services.
  • Early Years and New Mothers Program: Hospital and outpatient services, including at Helen Mayo House, for mothers of infants and young children who have BPD.
  • Young People Program: Support for young people at risk of developing BPD.