News + Comment 2015

Hocking Fellowship brings BPD into spotlight

2014 Hocking Fellowship recipient, Sonia Neale, is calling for more understanding of Borderline personality disorder (BPD) from governments, health services and the wider public in a newly-released report.

‘Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that is often ignored or misunderstood. Thankfully some States and Territories are now seeking alternatives to treat people in BPD crisis rather than attending Emergency Departments,’ she says.

The aim of the Hocking Fellowship is to promote better mental health for all Australians through advancing public knowledge of mental illness.

Sonia, a mental health peer support worker from Perth with a personal experience of BPD, used the grant to travel to Europe, the United States and Canada to observe and learn from leading international treatments of BPD.

BPD is a mental disorder where people experience frequent distressing emotional states, difficulty in relating to other people and self-harming.

People living with BPD are often misunderstood because of the anger and rejection they display, they are usually labeled as ‘manipulative’ or ‘attention seeking’.

‘I hope this report goes a long way to alleviating the stigma, discrimination, lack of support services, lack of inexpensive and accessible therapy that people with BPD often experience.