More Support for People Experiencing Personality Disorders

Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward MP has today announced that adolescents, adults, and their families and friends are assured continued access to mental health supports for personality disorders, as staff in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District are set to receive more training about the condition.

Mr Ward has today announced that the extra training was part of the NSW Government’s further investment of $5.5 million in the Project Air Strategy.

 “This is great news for people in our region who live with a personality disorder and it’s great news for those close to them who are often impacted and need support too,” he said.

 “There are young people in our community who need this specialised treatment and I’m very pleased that Project Air will continue to help people across the Illawarra and South Coast with more booster training for our staff and the opportunity for them to join the newly established ‘Air Academy’.

 “The Project Air Strategy ensures earlier diagnoses of a personality disorder while also reducing the time spent in hospital due to access to more tailored treatments. Today’s announcement will help the strategy expand to all health districts in NSW. 

“The NSW Government’s overall investment in the Project Air Strategy will now be more than $11 million since 2011,” Mr Ward said.

There are several types of personality disorders including borderline, antisocial, narcissistic and obsessive-compulsive, with treatment often involving evidence-based psychological therapy to help the person understand their feelings and improve their relationships.

The NSW Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies said people experiencing a personality disorder represent about 25 per cent of mental health presentations to emergency departments and admissions to the State’s mental health inpatient units. 

“Often these people arrive to the hospital in distress, and we are seeing this unique project significantly reduce presentations to Emergency Departments and shorten hospital stays, because the right help is getting to people faster,” Mrs Davies said.

The project is a collaboration between the NSW Government and the University of Wollongong and includes:

  • Ongoing training for health staff on managing affected people and carers;
  • The Gold Card Clinic initiative to help consumers move from emergency departments, to treatment in the community; and
  • The establishment of ongoing resources for health professionals via the ‘Air Academy’ and online resources for families and carers.

If you, or someone you know, needs crisis support phone Lifeline 13 11 14. For more information about Project Air Strategy and for resources about personality disorders visit