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Mrs Pauline Klein

Mrs Pauline Klein

Mrs Pauline Klein of Flinders University was awarded $105,000 for their proposed PhD Scholarship thesis titled:

Bringing consumer and carer lived experience expertise to inform improved service responses to distress, suicidal thoughts and actions of people with a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) diagnosis

People living with BPD and their carers/families face many adversities. BPD affects 1-4% of Australians and the suicide rate for people with BPD is approximately 10%. Personality disorders are estimated to be present in more than 30% of individuals who die by suicide, about 40% of individuals who make suicide attempts, and about 50% of psychiatric outpatients who die by suicide.  Carers live with constant anxiety, lack of support and information to cope with their family member or friend’s suicidality or with the impact on their own physical and mental health. Access to evidence-based treatments are limited and it is common for systems of care continue to stigmatise and discriminate against this population when they do attempt to seek help.

Few studies have explored experiences and impacts of BPD from the person’s or family/carers’ perspective. Research is required to ascertain why people with BPD are so affected by suicidal thoughts and actions. We need to understand how we can better support people and prevent suicide from happening as well as engaging families and carers.

In a statement, Mrs Klein explains:

“Receiving this scholarship is important to me as it enables me to work in partnership with organisations that are committed to preventing suicide and improving the lives of people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and their carers/families. Targeted suicide prevention interventions to address the high rates of suicidal presentations to health services among people with BPD is needed in South Australia. This research will gain a better understanding of suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and coping mechanisms among people with BPD, and trial an innovative suicide prevention model of care to better support this population. I am incredibly grateful that this grant will support me to make a significant contribution to this important Public Health issue.”

For more information on the funding opportunities available through the Suicide Prevention Research Fund please visit this page.