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Provide a specialist Personality Disorders Service in Gloucestershire

This petition had 1,098 supporters

We need a service to support our complex mental health needs.

I am campaigning for a Personality Disorders Service in the locality of Gloucestershire. Currently, there is no specific service for these complex mental health conditions despite up to 5% of the adult population in the UK having a personality disorder and despite Gloucestershire being in the minority of areas within the country that doesn’t offer such a service.

Personality disorders are a form of complex, enduring mental illness. Sufferers may experience problems with how they think, behave or function towards themselves and others, which affect different aspects of their life over a long period of time.

My own personality disorder led to me attempting to take my own life and as a result, spending a long time in a local acute psychiatric hospital. Due to there being no specialist service in Gloucestershire that I could be referred to, I was eventually sent over 100 miles away for treatment in Surrey. This meant 9 months away from friends and family because treatment in the community here wasn’t possible.

Since receiving specialist care, my symptoms have reduced hugely, my quality of life has improved and I am having to make use of local crisis services far less often. As well as being better for me, this has reduced the financial impact I am having on the NHS. 

It is well documented that early intervention in mental illness is better for patients and the economy and further, that hospital admission of patients with personality disorder should be avoided where possible because it can worsen outcomes rather than improve them.

This is why I am seeking to set up a community-based specialist personality disorders outpatient service in Gloucestershire. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on treatment for the condition state “Mental health trusts should develop multidisciplinary specialist teams and/or services for people with personality disorders” yet Gloucestershire has no such provision. 

I believe that with a specialist service and specialist clinicians within the community, the need for emergency interventions for those with personality disorder would decrease and so too would unnecessary deaths. 10% of those diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder alone take their own lives. Anything we can do to reduce that number in Gloucestershire is more than worthwhile.

There have been plans to develop a personality disorder service in Gloucestershire in the past but funding was unfortunately reallocated at the last moment and those plans never came to fruition.

Please help us get the service that we so desperately deserve by signing the petition. No one chooses to have a mental illness, let alone one as complex and enduring as a personality disorder, but we can improve outcomes if we have a service to support those diagnosed with the condition.

Many thanks for your support.

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