Professor Brin Grenyer. Photo by Paul Jones.
New funding enables statewide roll-out of Project Air Strategy
Project Air Strategy, an awarded-winning initiative for treating personality disorders, received a $5.5 million dollar funding boost from the NSW Government, as announced by NSW Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies on 22 July.
Established in 2011 by IHMRI researcher Professor Brin Grenyer, Project Air Strategy was devised to ensure more tailored treatments for people with personality disorders.
Project Air Strategy is already operational in 11 local health districts in New South Wales. This new funding will enable the project to be expanded into the remaining four districts by 2020. It will also cover ongoing training and resources for health staff and the expansion of the Gold Care Clinic initiative to help patients move from emergency departments to treatment in the community.
“While emergency departments and hospitals, and medications, might be appropriate for other mental health disorders, people with personality disorders need psychological therapy,” he said.
“So the main aim of Project Air is to ensure we’re using local health resources in a much more effective and sensitive way than in the past, and providing better access to psychological care.
“Personality disorders affect the whole community, so the project uses a ‘whole of community’ approach to engage individuals, their families, health services, schools and communities.”
Professor Grenyer said in NSW almost half a million people would meet diagnostic criteria for a personality disorder, with about 75,000 people actively seeking care.
“Personality disorder (such as borderline, antisocial, narcissistic and obsessive-compulsive) is a recognised mental health disorder,” he said.
“People with personality disorders suffer from emotional dysregulation and often have problematic relationships. They may self harm or have suicidal thoughts.”
Those experiencing a personality disorder represent about 25 per cent of mental health presentations to EDs and admissions to mental health inpatient units.
Ms Davies said: “Often these people arrive at the hospital in distress. With Project Air, they are assessed through what we call the Gold Card clinic to ensure targeted treatment and rapid follow-up. “… We are seeing this unique project significantly reduce presentations to EDs and shorten hospital stays, because the right help is getting to people faster.”
More about Project Air Strategy
More about Professor Brin Grenyer
Louise Negline, Communications Coordinator
t: 4221 4702
m: 0417 044 867