I am a parent, carer or guardian

Supporting someone with a personality disorder can be a challenging. Sometimes there is an initial shock when you first learn of their problem and you may find it difficult to make sense of your own feelings. Other times it is a relief to know what the problem is, because it has been around for a long time without proper treatment.

In fact, the whole experience can be overwhelming and may bring up many questions and sometimes even fewer answers. This is not an unfamiliar experience. Many others have described feeling this way.

Project Air Carers: Supporting you to support others (free e-learning program)

Project Air Carers is designed for families, partners, friends and others supporting a loved one with personality disorder. It includes education, skills, strategies, and the advice of carers with lived experience to help you in your caring role.

Project Air Carers is free and available 24/7 on this website. Please feel free to share this initial link with others you know.

The program contains 6 modules, each designed to take around 30 to 45 minutes each. A Certificate of Completion is provided at the end of the program.

Access the free e-learning program.

What is a personality disorder and what can I do to help?

Personality disorder is a name used to describe a pattern of traits that affect people’s inner experiences, behaviours and relationships. Personality traits are ‘disordered’ when they become extreme, inflexible, and maladaptive. This tends to create a pattern of problems that cause the person and those around them significant distress over a period of time. A personality disorder often leads to significant disruption to a person’s capacity to work, study and maintain good relationships. It is a recognised diagnosed mental disorder and specific psychological therapies have been shown to be effective treatments.

As a family member, partner or carer, one of the first questions you may have is “What can I do to help?” As caring people, we naturally don’t want the people we love to make mistakes. We may feel a need to protect them from the stress that this may cause. While this is understandable, it is also important to allow the person to take some level of responsibility.

Project Air is here to support you. We have lots of free stuff for you to take a look at but remember the information we provide is of a general nature and does not take into account personal circumstances and physical and/or mental status/wellbeing. The links at the top of this page will take you to our fact sheets and videos. Specific advice should always be sought from an appropriately qualified professional person.

It is important to note that Project Air does not provide crisis services, support, counselling, advice, treatment or referrals. Project Air supports health services to provide better care and it is the health services that you should approach for any individual assessment and treatment needs.

Project Air has developed an integrated set of resources to assist consumers living with a personality disorder, their families, partners and carers, health professionals and educators.

Support Services

Lifeline Australia provides access to crisis support, suicide prevention and mental health support services.

Suicideline is an all-hours service available throughout Victoria providing suicide prevention counselling and support, crisis intervention, information for people.

Suicide Call Back Service offers free phone counselling 24/7. They also provide online web chat. This service is for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts, those who have lost someone to suicide or caring for someone that has suicidal ideation

Salvation Army Care Line provides a 24 hour, professional, Christian telephone counselling service. 

Australian BPD Foundation

Borderline Personality Disorder provides information on Borderline Personality Disorder, including treatments, co-occurring disorders and the impact of Borderline Personality Disorder on family members and other relationships.

BPD Central is one of the most respected sites on the Web for people who care about someone who may have Borderline Personality Disorder.

BPD Family aims to provide educational and emotional support to family, friends, and partners of people with borderline personality disorder or emotional dysregulation. The site provides an anonymous message board for carers to connect with others.

BPDRecovery focuses on recovering from Borderline Personality Disorder using tools that are predominantly Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) oriented. The site provides education and a forum to voice thoughts and opinions. All are welcome at the site, however, they recommend that the site will be most helpful to those who are currently focussed on their own recovery.

BPDWORLD is a UK based website providing information on Borderline Personality Disorder, suicide and self harm. Although some information is UK specific, the website does offer “Online Support” and “Community Forums” to connect with others.

Borderline Personality Resource Centre provides resources, brochures and information about Borderline Personality Disorder.

DBT Self-Help is a service for people who are seeking information about DBT (Dialectal Behavior Therapy). The website does not give advice and was not developed by professionals. It offers the experiences of people who have received DBT.

International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (ISSPD) stimulates and supports scholarship, clinical experience, international collaboration and communication of research on all aspects of personality disorders including both diagnosis, course and treatment. Through its Regional and National organisations ISSPD encourages the initiative of education and research on personality disorders as well as collaborative efforts across countries and regions.

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA.BPD Australia) is an Australian organisation raising public awareness, provides education and promotes research to enhance the quality of life of those with BPD.  

National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder (NEA-BPD) is a non-profit organisation staffed by volunteering consumers, family members, and professionals. NEA-BPD seeks to "Advance the BPD Agenda" by raising public awareness of BPD, providing education, and promoting research about borderline personality disorder through a variety of programs.

Orygen Youth Health is working to improve the mental health and well-being of young people.

Spectrum is a statewide service in Victoria that supports and works with local Area Mental Health Services to provide treatment for people with personality disorder. Spectrum focuses on those who are at risk from serious self-harm or suicide and who have particularly complex needs. 

Barnardos builds relationships between children, young people, their families and the community.

Headspace provides mental and health wellbeing support, information & services to young people and their families across Australia.

Sir David Martin Foundation - Triple Care Farm helps to get young people off the streets, away from unhealthy situations and into care and rehabilitation. We support particular Mission Australia programs that deliver high levels of care and encouragement, allowing homeless and troubled young people to regain their health, develop a new sense of self belief and turn their lives around.  

Aftercare is a not-for-profit organisation that provides an extensive range of programs and services to assist people who might be experiencing mental illness and intellectual disability to allow them to lead happy, fulfilling and independent lives.

Beyond Blue is a national, independent, not-for-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, anxiety and related disorders in Australia.

Black Dog Institute is a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and Bipolar Disorder.

Centre for Clinical Interventions has developed a number of resources for consumers, mental health practitioners, and doctors, many of which are freely available through this website.

e-couch is a self-help interactive program with modules for depression, generalised anxiety & worry, social anxiety, relationship breakdown, and loss & grief.

MoodGYM is an innovative, interactive web program designed to prevent depression. It consists of five modules, an interactive game, anxiety and depression assessments, downloadable relaxation audio, a workbook and feedback assessment.

PsychForums provides a space for consumers and support persons to connect with others experiencing similar issues regarding mental health. There is a personality disorder specific section, including forums on Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Schizoid Personality Disorder.

ReachOut provides young people with the information, help, support, advice and connections they need to manage mental health difficulties.

ANGLICARE is the urban mission and community care arm of the Sydney Anglican Church. As one of Australia’s largest Christian care organisations, ANGLICARE reaches out to thousands of people every year.

Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria provides a comprehensive support and information service on all aspects of eating disorders, including an online chatroom.

Illawarra Multicultural Society is a non-profit, community-based organisation that provides information and help to migrants, refugees and humanitarian entrants living in the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven.

Mission Australia - Community Services is a Christian community service organisation that is committed to transforming the lives of people in need.

Neami is a non-government mental health organisation provides rehabilitation and recovery support to people with a serious mental illness who require assistance in areas of skill development, social contact and housing.

PRA Services (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Australia) a non Government social enterprise which provides community based support services to people with Psychosocial disadvantage or psychiatric disability.

Relationships Australia services around the country that includes counselling, family dispute resolution (mediation) and a range of family and community support and education programs.

Sane Australia is a national charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness – through campaigning, education and research.

Watershed is a leading treatment and education centre offering individuals and their loved ones a holistic and effective approach to actively motivate and foster the required mental, emotional and physical strength to overcome the effects of a dependency and bring about both a positive and permanent behavioural change. 

BPD Australia have put together a listing of support groups for carers across Australia.

Project Air Strategy Headquarters does not provide crisis services, support, counselling, advice, treatment or referrals. We support health services to provide better care  and it is the health services that you should approach for any individual assessment and treatment needs. 

If you need immediate help or support, please contact your local health services in your local area or your country's crisis services.

If you are in Australia, call Emergency Services (dial 000) or telephone a Suicide Prevention Service.

The Mental Health Support Services Information Fact Sheet (pdf 77kb) may also be helpful.

We are also pleased to provide an Australian & New Zealand referral directory of personality disorder services. Our list is compiled from information provided to us and people using this directory are recommended to seek their own independent advice in determining the service that will best meet their needs. In general, we have provided information on specialised integrated programs rather than solo practitioners who may also be providing evidenced based treatment.

Please use our Service Directory to access a clinical service