A LOCAL mother has started a new support group for those suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) after the tragic death of her daughter.
Erin Donnelly’s 18-year-old daughter Katie had been suffering from the disorder when she died suddenly at the Fermanagh and Tyrone Hospital in Omagh last September.
Lack of treatment and understanding of this mental illness are two of the biggest issues vulnerable teenagers and adults are experiencing today.
To combat this, ‘Katie’s SHINE Project’ was founded by Erin to help those struggling with BPD and to educate those directly involved with an individual’s care.
“SHINE arose from conversations I had with Katie in relation to her first-hand experiences, regarding the negative interactions she had experienced with professionals when she was in crisis,” Erin from Ederney explained.
“After Katie died I was told stories from others who, like Katie, had been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and had reached out to me with their experiences. They are still waiting on treatment. There is over a two-year waiting list, and to avail of private treatment you have to leave the country and seek a referral from a psychiatrist.
“As far as I am aware there is no charity solely for borderline personality disorder in this country. Katie contacted numerous therapists and organisations and unfortunately, no one was in a place to help with her disorder, and her actions, on the whole, were misunderstood.”
Although the group cannot provide treatment or crisis intervention currently, the organisation hopes to nurture more support and education.
“It’s early days yet, and ‘Katie’s SHINE Project’ is in its infancy,” Erin said. “But the team has lots of plans and ideas in place where we can successfully educate the community and professionals/support networks on personality disorders, to attempt to reduce the stigma and misconceptions that BPD sufferers face daily, especially in times of crisis.”
The launch of ‘Katie’s SHINE Project’ coincides with Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month, which is in May.
For more details on ‘Katie’s SHINE Project’ please go to: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100091345203085.
Those looking after loved ones suffering from BPD can access information, help, and support via the ‘NI Personality Disorder Network’ facilitated by Mindwise at: https://www.mindwisenv.org/what-we-do/campaigning-lobbying/ni-personality-disorder-network/.
Lifeline is also a crisis-response helpline service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you are in distress or despair, you can call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 and talk to an experienced counsellor in confidence.
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