ON-BPD News | Special Update

ON-BPD responds to increasing demand for family support

[Ottawa, ON | 15 October 2017]

The Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD) launched its first local Family Connections leader training on September 8-10, 2017.

Hosted by the National Education Alliance (NEA-BPD) in San Francisco, local “Ottawans” received the training via video-conferencing, along with other participants located in six cities across North America. Most of the volunteers who dedicated their weekend for the training are graduates of the Family Connections course and family members of a loved one who struggles with BPD or has difficulty regulating their emotions. Having completed the weekend Course Leader training, they are now ready to co-facilitate the 12-week Family Connections course. Also, among the volunteer trainees were dedicated professionals from The Royal Ottawa, Queensway-Carleton hospital, and Cornwall area, all working in the mental health field.

In short, ON-BPD is stepping up to the demand!

Participants learned about recently published medical studies which not only support the benefits of Family Connections for family members; but also establishes a link to benefits for their loved ones with BPD. Graduates of the Family Connections course often report reduced stress and sense of burden, along with an increase in knowledge and sense of empowerment.

Over the course of the two full days, trainees learned more about emotion dysregulation and were taught how to teach valuable skills such as relationship mindfulness, validation, and problem management.

“There is a direct correlation between the knowledge and health of family members and the well-being of loved ones with BPD. The skills taught are based on dialectical behavior therapy and, when consistently practiced, contribute to all family members’ wellbeing and overall quality of life. Family connections course graduates often report a greater sense of mastery and  a reduced sense of burden,” states Michèle Langlois, President ON-BPD and a Family Connections course leader herself.

Recent evidence-based studies are demonstrating that:

  1. Persons living with BPD fare better when surrounded and supported by caregivers, family members and others who remain emotionally involved in the relationship;
  2. BPD often runs concurrent with other mental health conditions. Improved relationships help with problem solving and in turn, help to address concerns associated with concurrent mental health issues that many BPD persons experience.

“By training more Family Connections leaders, we can meet the growing demand of families desperate in their search for the education, skills and peer support. Our commitment extends to supporting smaller communities in Eastern Ontario and the Ottawa Valley,” says Michèle.

In this one weekend, over 200 people were trained, 20, here in Ottawa for approximately the same cost as formerly sending one person for training in the United States.

“That’s a significant cost savings!” remarks Michèle “made possible through the generous grant we received from the Ottawa Community Foundation early this spring.”

We also thank The Royal Ottawa Mental Health CentreBiagio’s Italian Kitchen and Kracker’s Katering for their excellent service to the group contributing to the training success.

If you are interested in making a financial contribution to support the work of the ON-BPD or getting involved, we are always seeking volunteers to assist in a variety of capacities. Contact info@on-bpd.ca for more information.

About ON-BPD

The Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder is a volunteer-run charitable organization (Registered Charity Number: 829239474RR0001). The main objectives of Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder (ON-BPD) are to educate and support relatives of people with emotion dysregulation or BPD and to help family members develop skills for coping. This is done primarily through presenting the Family Connections program. Visit www.on-bpd.ca for more information.

About Family Connections

The Family Connections program is an evidence-based 12-week program designed to help adult family members and spouses of individual with emotion dysregulation or Borderline Personality Disorder with knowledge and skills for their own well-being and for better understanding of their loved one. The program in Ottawa is offered by the Ottawa Network for Borderline Personality Disorder. The program was developed by Dr. Perry Hoffman and Dr. Allan Fruzetti of NEA-BPD. Visit www.on-bpd.ca/en/family-connections for more information.