GREENS SAY GOVERNMENT DITHERING ON BPD, EFFECTIVELY A DEATH SENTENCE

Greens Mental Health Spokesperson, Tammy Franks MLC, has marked World Mental Health Day by renewing her party’s commitment to fighting against the stigma placed on mental illness and for better supports for ALL South Australians to stay alive and live well, urging Government action on borderline personality disorder.

“World Mental Health Day is an important occasion to reflect on how we can do better as a community to end the stigma and better support those who are struggling,” Ms Franks said.

“Yet in the most substantial overhaul of our state’s health system, Transforming Health, scant attention has been given to reforming mental health. Getting the best care, first time, every time is laudable but must be applied across not just physical but also mental health. 

“Yet we are still seeing people forced into desperate situations and presenting in emergency departments because when they need help we are failing to ensure the care they need is there for them.

“The ED appears the only option and is often the last place they should be. As a consequence, lives are being lost and we have a current deputy coroner's inquiry to show we are failing on this.* It's tragic but it completely fixable. We have the way we see it across the border in Victoria. What is lacking is here is the political will. 

“All parties in SA need to commit to a borderline personality disorder (BPD) unit that will enhance and literally save lives. The Greens have advocated for this for five years now and won't give up on better supports for and education about BPD. Continued Weatherill Government delay and dithering on ensuring a stand alone BPD unit is quite simply a death sentence for some we won't accept. 

Ms Franks is attending the Mental Health Mind Game organised by Mental Health Coalition of SA at 10 am today in the East End of Rundle Mall (outside Novo Shoe store), and will be available for comment at that time.

*Deputy State Coroner is holding an inquest into the deaths of BPD suffers, Miranda Howard and Aurora McPherson-Smith, hearing evidence from Dr Martha Kent, who has identified, over the past two years, the deaths of 12 South Australians diagnosed with BPD. 

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