What is the issue? Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder characterized by the brain’s inability to process, interpret and regulate emotions. This leads to feelings of intense emotional pain, impulsive behaviors, relationships difficulties, depression, and an unstable sense of self.
One individual with BPD describes it as "it's like being on a roller coaster and I can't hit the brakes.” Another says, "My brain is on fire."
Up to 6% of the population suffers from BPD, which is often diagnosed with co-occurring mental health or substance abuse disorders. With treatment and support, 90% of those with BPD live productive and satisfying lives.
Emotions Matter support groups are meant to be empowerment-oriented, peer-driven and culturally sensitive, focused on providing positive models of BPD recovery.
Who leads your support groups? All of our support groups are led by peer facilitators in who have been oriented to our support group program. They have experience with BPD recovery and resources, and are able to support those in the BPD population on the recovery journey.
What is the structure of a typical meeting? Our groups are designed to offer a safe space for people living with BPD to come together and share their stories and experiences as well as learning tools and insights for living with BPD.
Each meeting during our four week pilot program will follow a similar format:
Icebreaker for group members to meet each other
Introduction of a recovery principle
Peer Narrative about how the faciliator has used the recovery principle
Group discussion about shared experiences
Shared skills using the recovery principle
How often do the groups meet? Our online groups meet once a week for four weeks. Each session will be a structured 75-minutes online session.
What are the group principles that will be covered over the four weeks? Session1 - Trust, Session 2 - Advocacy, Session 3 - Community, and Session 4 - Purpose.
Why are your programs not professionally led? Individuals with BPD often have challenges accessing the BPD specific treatment that leads to recovery, due to its prohibitive cost or difficulties locating a clinician. There is lack of public awareness about BPD, and not enough health care providers in the community trained to offer resources and treatment.
BPD peers understand these challenges and have first-hand experience with navigating resources to promote recovery. They understand the stigma that those with BPD often experience, and have experience a variety of mental health treatment settings.
Our groups are designed to offer a safe space for individuals living with BPD to come together and share their stories, as well as learn lived experience strategies for living with BPD. This may include offering concrete resources, or sharing skills like mindfulness.
How is this a free service? We understand the high cost of living with borderline personality disorder (BPD), between medical appointments, often extensive medications or treatment groups which can be expensive. We when created Emotions Matter, we didn’t want accessing peer support to be another financial hardship. That being said, we are a non-profit organization and it does take money and resources to make these programs possible. If you are interested and able, we would be grateful for your contributions. Learn about the ways you can contribute and donate here, www.emotionsmatterbpd.org