ON-BPD News | 2018, Issue 5

Updates from the Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder:

News from our Community

If you have news that would be of interest to us or our members, please send it to webservices@on-bpd.ca.


Annual General Meeting

The Board of Directors of the Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder is pleased to invite you to its annual general meeting on Wednesday October 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

Light dinner refreshments will be available at 5:30 pm.

In keeping with the constitution, only paid members are eligible to vote. If you would like to vote, it's not too late! You can register your annual membership for $10 (cash only) immediately before the AGM.

*If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Karen@on-bpd.ca by October 5, 2018. Relevant documents will be provided at registration*


Following the AGM meeting, please join us for a special public lecture on stepped care for borderline personality disorder.


Free Lecture October 17: Stepped Care for BPD

Dr. Ronald Fraser
McGill University Health Centre

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) affects approximately 1% of the population, and presents with considerable heterogeneity. Historically very difficult to treat, in the past 20 years a number of effective psychotherapies have been developed. At the McGill University Health Centre, we have developed a stepped care approach for BPD, believing that one size does not necessarily fit all. Our research has shown that brief treatment can be effective and that while some patients still need longer treatment, the results are encouraging for brief treatment as a first step for the majority of patients with BPD.

Please join us for an insightful evening with Dr. Ronald Fraser an expert in addictions and BPD.   

English Announcement

Anonce en français


Call for Volunteers

You have skills – and we could use them!

ON-BPD depends entirely on volunteer labour. Many of our course leaders and board members have committed their time and talents for many years and have helped the organization grow and provide greater resources to our community.

At this time, we need help in the following areas:

  1. Event planning and implementation, including fundraising
  2. Website and document management system maintenance and administration (IT)
  3. Communications: content manager for the website and social media
  4. Business analyst: skilled at analyzing a business situation, doing research, documenting processes and procedures, etc. We could use this skill to help us develop and standardize processes and system workflows- very key to our ability to expand and grow while maintaining good controls and quality

If you are interested, send your resume with a brief cover letter explaining your interest in volunteering for ON-BPD to Michele@on-bpd.ca.


Continuing Connections: Relationship Mindfulness on Saturday, October 20, 2018

Relationship mindfulness helps us control our own emotions in order to improve our relationship with our loved one.  It means paying attention, on purpose, in the present, without judgment. Relationship mindfulness means applying this to another person.

Continuing Connections is an invitation-only half-day workshop delivered quarterly to graduates who have completed the 12-week Family Connections® course. The main objectives of Continuing Connections are to develop a support network for family members experiencing similar situations and to practice the Family Connections skills in a safe, supportive environment.

The 2018 Continuing Connections workshops will focus on the following skills:

VALIDATION: Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm — already conducted

RADICAL ACCEPTANCE: Saturday, May 26, 2018 9:30 am to 12:00 pm — already conducted

RELATIONSHIP MINDFULNESS: Saturday, October 20, 2018 9:30 am to 12:00 pm

We have noted that some graduates are not receiving our invitation. Please check your spam or promotions folder — we use an online event service (Eventbrite) which may cause our messages to be misdirected. You may also send an email to karen@on-bpd.ca. All Family Connections graduates are most welcome to attend.



Words to the Wise: Where do we draw the line?

When faced with the needs and crises of someone who lives with BPD, it can feel like the demands on you are overwhelming. We love them, we want to help them, but sometimes we just feel like there’s nothing more to give. Or we start to feel like a doormat. Or we worry that we’re “enabling” them rather than helping them become more self-sufficient.

It doesn’t help that those around us are often ready with criticism and advice: “You need to kick him to the curb!” “You’re babying her.” “It’s your fault; if you didn’t jump every time they called, you wouldn’t be in this mess.”

In Family Connections, we learn about “observing our limits.”

Our limits; not theirs.

Observing our limits means paying attention to (being mindful of) our gut. It means respecting our own comfort level.

It does not mean telling anyone else what they can or cannot do. It means stating and then enforcing what we are willing or able to do.

Some Examples (these are both fictional illustrations)

Photo by Billy Pasco


Ben loves to drive and feels that having his own car is important to his independence and self-esteem. The problem is that he can’t keep a job longer than three months so he can’t get a loan. He asks you to co-sign the loan.

For some families, this wouldn’t be a problem. They have the financial means to absorb the potential costs and agree that a car is important to Ben’s employment options. For them, it would not be stretching their personal limits.

But for other families, taking over payments on a car loan would be a hardship and could even cause them to defer important things like retirement plans or paying off their mortgage. It would be damaging to the relationship and possibly create more dependence than autonomy.

Or it just may go against their personal values. It would cause them emotional distress to take on this responsibility.

In these last two families, it might be better for them not to co-sign the loan. At the very least, it would be a good idea to take some time to think about it.


Rebecca calls in a panic because she has to leave her abusive boyfriend. She doesn’t want to move in with you, but she does need help finding a new place and moving her stuff.

For one family, helping with the move is not a problem – an afternoon of packing boxes and schlepping them across town is a labour of love. (And important for Rebecca’s safety.) But coming up with a rental deposit would cause hardship. Instead, Dad offers to pick up and store all the boxes while Rebecca stays in a shelter or couch-surfs.

Another family might decide to rent an apartment for Rebecca. It would provide her a safe place and (they hope) reduce some of the drama of the relationship-crisis cycle. For this family, the finances are not a problem, and it doesn’t push any of their personal anxiety buttons.

In a different family, even if they had the money, muscles and time, they might feel that this has happened too many times and that continuing to “rescue” Rebecca only enables her to go back to this abusive relationship without ever learning any consequences.

My limit; not yours.

The point is that there really isn’t a single correct answer. Anyone looking in from the outside may come to different conclusions — and those decisions would be right for them and for their loved one.

The important thing is to be mindful: mindful of your own needs and emotions (self-validation), and mindful of your loved one’s needs and emotions (relationship mindfulness).


Wynn Anne is a Family Connections leader. You can send her a message at wynnanne@on-bpd.ca. In this section of our newsletter, Wynn Anne shares some nuggets of wisdom that she's come across.

News from our Community

Suicide Intervention / Related Training coming up at CMHA Ottawa

  • ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
    Thurs.-Fri. Oct. 4-5 8:30 am–4:30 pm, $200-$250

  • ASIST 11 Tune Up
    Mon. Oct. 15, 8:30 am-12 pm, $65

  • Suicide to Hope (working with clients previously at risk and now currently safe from suicide)
    Wed. Oct. 17, 8:30-12pm,



The Big White Wall

“Big White Wall” is a new on-line approach towards wellbeing that is available anytime anywhere:

  • Anonymous peer support
  • 24/7 moderation by clinically trained ‘Wall Guides’
  • Self-guided courses
  • Self-improvement tools and resources
  • Safe space to express yourself without judgement

In 2018, Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and Ontario's Ministry of Health and Long Term Care commissioned Big White Wall to provide digital mental health support, in line with the recommendations made in ‘Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada’. The partnership represents one of the biggest single deployments of mental health services online in the world.

Big White Wall offers Ontario residents the choice and flexibility to seek support early, without stigma and at a time convenient to them.

Big White Wall est disponible en anglais seulement.


Family Support Program at The Royal


Family Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

Family WRAP® is an 8-week program exploring the Key Concepts of Recovery and putting an action plan in place for our wellness. It is an evidence-based, peer-led, personalized wellness and recovery plan.

Where: We are honoured to partner with The Oasis in Kanata to offer a group series at Glen Cairn United Church.
When: Tuesday evenings from September 11th to October 30th from 6:00 - 8:30pm
Registration: Melissa Yaxley-Stillman | 613-567-4379 ext. 115 | MelissaYS@pso-ottawa.ca

More information is available in this flyer (PDF).