New Therapy Service to Help Mental Health Patients – 08/10/09

An innovative new treatment programme to help people with a severe mental health disorder has been launched in Dudley.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has set up a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) service for people experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

The intensive 12-month treatment course sees patients take part in a number of therapy sessions aimed at teaching them how to tolerate and manage painful emotions.

A team of seven Trust staff including clinical psychologists, a psychotherapist, a social worker, two community psychiatric nurses and an occupational therapist run the service.

Jill Robotham, lead clinical psychologist, said: “DBT was developed in the USA and has proved to be effective in helping people with BPD.

“People who suffer with BPD commonly experience feeling emotionally unpredictable or out of control and may self-harm, have suicidal thoughts or attempt to take their own life.

“DBT therapy helps BPD patients by analysing behaviour, thoughts and emotions and providing support and training in skills such as improving relationships with others, dealing with distress and managing emotions.

“Although aspects of DBT are already used in the Trust, this new service will provide a dedicated, intensive treatment programme. There are not many Trusts that provide a full programme of therapy like the one we are offering.

“With around 20 per cent of our inpatients suffering from BPD, the DBT scheme should benefit the Trust as a whole because it will hopefully reduce the amount of other services BPD patients have historically had to access during their road to recovery.

“The DBT service is now open for referrals from our Community Mental Health Teams in Dudley and we should be ready to start the therapy sessions in January.”