Independent mental health charity, Suffolk Mind, has expanded its innovative service for people with a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), to help a hundred more people a year across Suffolk.
Waves is funded directly by the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups (the CCGs) and is for people with a diagnosis or traits of Borderline Personality Disorder.
The service helps build confidence and self-esteem by providing a safe and supportive environment for people to learn new skills. It also helps to make positive connections and achieve personal goals by helping people maintain their own mental wellbeing.
Jodie Goolding, from Ipswich, was a client with Waves from May 2018 to May 2019: “I joined Waves to help regulate my emotions and find support from people who have the same diagnosis as me. Throughout the year, I learnt life skills and methods to help me cope in a crisis.
During her time at Waves, Jodie also volunteered for Suffolk Mind. She has now moved on to university: “Waves was the start of my recovery and it has helped me gain confidence and open up about my past”.
Waves had previously been running weekly sessions in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich but will now be operating two further days in Ipswich as well as opening new groups in Felixstowe and Haverhill. 160 people a year will now be helped, compared to the 60 being seen previously each year.
Helen Shenton, Waves Manager, said: “It’s fantastic that we’ve received this funding from the CCGs to more than double the Waves service.
“It’s an innovative service that is much needed by the community of Suffolk. Extra funding means the service becomes more accessible to people in different areas, as well as reducing our current waiting list by half.
“This is a great opportunity to increase understanding and awareness of Borderline Personality Disorder and to continue to support the mental wellbeing of Suffolk residents.”
Dr Rosalind Tandy, a GP in Bury St Edmunds and mental health lead for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know that there has been a positive and meaningful impact on those who have participated in the weekly sessions. It therefore is logical to expand the service further so that even more people can benefit.
“Waves offers people the opportunity to become more confident, happy and fulfilled individuals and I am pleased that the CCGs are able to support its expansion through the good work of Suffolk Mind.”
Personality disorders are mental health conditions which affect people in some of the following ways:
• Being easily overwhelmed by strong emotions such as distress, anxiety, anger or feelings of low self-esteem
• Avoiding other people and feeling a lack of emotional connection with others
• Seeking control over strong emotions through self-harm (for example, abusing drugs and alcohol, or taking overdoses) or, in rare cases, threatening other people
• Becoming very attached to someone in a short space of time, before ‘pushing’ them away before they can be let down
Suffolk County Council estimates around 84,000 people in Suffolk “have enough traits of personality disorder to justify further investigation.”
Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: “It’s great that the NHS has funded the expansion of this effective and popular service as part of the review of mental health services undertaken over the last 18 months. We hope to be able to expand further in future years to meet the need that’s been identified across the county.”
If you have a diagnosis of or traits of a Borderline Personality Disorder you can self-refer for the Waves service on the Suffolk Mind website: www.suffolkmind.org.uk/waves