Families, carers and friends of a person with BPD often need support for themselves, so they are better able to provide support. Finding a counsellor, friend or other support can be important. While there are many supports for carers in general (i.e. not specific to carers of someone with BPD), many people find it useful to have support specifically relating to BPD.
Learning More About BPD: Workshop and Information Sessions for Families and Friends
Spectrum offers either a one day workshop or an evening information session for carers supporting a person with (or a suspected diagnosis of) BPD. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn more about BPD, how to best support the person we care about whilst still caring for ourselves and a chance to explore common questions. The group explores a number of educational and practical approaches to learning new skills within a supportive environment amongst other carers.
NB. These workshops are designed for families and friends, not for people with BPD or mental health workers.
For more information, click here to link to Spectrum’s Eventbrite page or contact Spectrum.
Download our helpful guide for families, friends and supporters (PDF, 1.05MB) or the Australian BPD Foundation’s Help Tips for Families and Carers flyer (415KB PDF).
Most of the services listed under Accessing Support and Information offer support for carers as well as for the person in crisis.
In addition, these Helplines offer support specifically for carers.
- Mind Mental Health Carer Helpline — 1300 554 660 (Business Hours)
- Carer Advisory Line – 1800 242 636 (not specific to Mental Health)
8.30 am - 5.00 pm Monday to Friday (except for public holidays)
Resources and programs not associated with Spectrum
The Australian BPD Foundation, via their website and Facebook page, post items that may be of interest to people with BPD and their carers. They also offer a subscription to a monthly eBulletin and quarterly newsletter.
Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders based in NSW has a very informative website with a comprehensive range of fact sheets and treatment guidelines.
The Family Connections Program is a 12-session course providing education, skills training, and support for people who are in a relationship with someone who has BPD. The course content is based on the principles of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. It has been developed by the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD). For more information, see the NEA-BPD Australia website.
Fostering Realistic Hope Workshop -The Bouverie Centre, Victoria’s Family Institute, run a workshop series for families and carers of someone with BPD. For more information, see the Bouverie Centre’s website, or phone (03) 9385 5100. The Bouverie Centre also offers family therapy, and has some expertise in working with families where a member has BPD.
BPD Community provides a voice for all members of the BPD community in Victoria. BPD Community exists to help ease the sense of isolation that can be common for people affected by a diagnosis of BPD. The community aims to provide a supportive community of like-minded people who understand the challenges of BPD.
Other resources that you may find helpful include:
- Mental Health Carer Support Groups. To find one nearby in Victoria, go to the Tandem Inc. website.
- Mind Mental Health Carer Helpline. Phone 1300 554 660 during business hours.
- Mental Health Carer Counselling Service offered by Mind Australia and Carers Australia (Vic).
- Wellways Helpline. Phone: 1300 111 500 or email.
- SANE Australia offer online forums for both carers and people with lived experience. Note: these forums are not specific to BPD, however many people discuss their experiences of a family member with BPD on these online forums.
- COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness) offers resources for families where a parent has a mental illness. While most of COPMI’s materials are not BPD-specific, they are an invaluable resource for parents, whose mental illness affects their parenting, as well as for children affected by a parent’s mental illness.
Many other mental health organisations and Facebook groups offer support and online resources of somewhat varied relevance to carers of people with BPD. Some people find particular groups invaluable, while other groups are short-lived or not specifically useful. It can be helpful to ask around and see what people in similar circumstances to you have found helpful. Please be mindful of your privacy and that of your family. We suggest you use a non-identifiable pseudonym when making inquiries.