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Personality Disorder

The National Mental Health Commission has supported a range of projects on personality disorders, with the aim of raising awareness and a better understanding of the needs of Australians living with personality disorder.

Information about the work undertaken to date can be found below.

Personality disorder treatment and support research

In 2018, the Commission and SANE Australia released a spotlight report to review current evidence-based practice, service availability and experiences of treatment for Australians living with personality disorder. The report included a literature review, an environmental scan and a qualitative study. It discusses:

  • What is known about the prevalence of personality disorders in Australia, including the percentage of people presenting to emergency departments living with personality disorder
  • A review of evidence-based treatments for personality disorder
  • The barriers faced by Australians living with personality disorder in accessing a sufficient level of support
  • How people living with personality disorders are impacted by stigma and discrimination.

Full report: Understanding how best to respond to the needs of Australians living with personality disorder 

The Commission developed a summary of the research report which outlines the key messages and themes of the research. The summary explores the experiences of people living with personality disorder and their carers and other support persons as well as what the research means for mental health professionals and Primary Health Networks (PHNs).

Summary report: Treatment and support for personality disorder: A summary of research by SANE Australia 

Healthcare professionals’ experiences regarding personality disorder

To further expand on the research conducted by SANE Australia on the needs of Australians living with personality disorder, the National Mental Health Commission partnered with SANE Australia to conduct a study into the experiences of healthcare professionals with regards to personality disorder.

The Understanding views and experiences of healthcare professionals regarding personality disorder study aimed to investigate:

  • The training healthcare professionals typically receive
  • The types of treatment and support services provided to consumers
  • The attitudes of healthcare professionals towards people living with personality disorder
  • The barriers and concerns healthcare professionals face when working with people living with personality disorder
  • The support healthcare professionals would like to receive in terms of service provision and access, training, guidelines, etc.
  • Healthcare professionals’ awareness of relevant personality disorder treatment guidelines.

In order to better meet the needs of people living with personality disorder, the study advocated for better supports for healthcare professionals to provide longer term and more intensive treatment. The study also called for an increase in education and training opportunities in order to upskill healthcare professionals.

Full report: Understanding views and experiences of healthcare professionals regarding personality disorder

Summary report: Personality disorder: the experiences of health professionals. A summary of research by SANE Australia

A Model of Care for Personality Disorder in Primary Health Networks (PHNs)  

Building on the recommendations from SANE’s report: ‘Understanding how best to respond to the needs of Australian living with personality disorder’, the Commission provided further support to SANE Australia to consult with selected PHNs around understanding the role of stepped care planning and commissioning for people with lived experience of personality disorder. The final report covers:

  • A range of barriers and enablers with regards to access to treatment and support
  • Proposed service design values and principles for treating people with personality disorder in primary care
  • Proposed stepped model of care for personality disorder in primary care
  • Suggestions for the commissioning of services for the treatment and care of people with personality disorder in primary care.

Full report: A Model of Care for Personality Disorder in Primary Health Networks (PHNs)

 

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