A Tale of 3 Cities. London, Birmingham, Manchester. A fresh start for people with complex emotional needs

A Tale of 3 Cities

Too many people who are given a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ don’t get the support they need.

Tale of 3 Cities is a series of national and international events during May 2022 (International Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month) to highlight and challenge the pervasive and deeply harmful discrimination facing young people with a ‘borderline personality disorder’ diagnosis.

Alongside 42nd Street from Manchester, Forward Thinking Birmingham and the Anna Freud Centre in London, we are working together with national and international colleagues to bring together the voices of young people living with complex mental health needs that are often associated with a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’.

Tale of 3 Cities seeks to put young people’s views and experiences at the heart of the conversation. Each of the events will explore the potential of early intervention and will be co-chaired by an expert by experience and an expert by occupation. They include:

Thursday 28 April: ‘Care & Compassion through a Cultural Lens’

  • Hosted by the Anna Freud Centre. 
  • Exploring the way mental health and help-seeking is influenced by socio-economic and cultural factors, as well as the beliefs and values that mental health care providers bring to their practice. 

Tuesday 3 May: ‘We Built this City – Sharing the Voices & Experiences of Parents and Carers’

  • Hosted by Charlie Waller Trust, and co-chaired by Sir Norman Lamb
  • Connect and hear from parents and carers about their journey of supporting a young person with complex emotional needs or a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’

Monday 9 May: ‘International Borderline Personality Disorder Roundtable’

  • Hosted by the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership

Tuesday 10 May: ‘Complex Emotional Needs and Co-Morbidities’

  • Hosted by the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network
  • The webinar will explore the specific challenges facing people who have been given a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ who experience intersecting co-morbidities such as eating disorders, autism, or involvement in the criminal justice system. 

Wednesday 18 May: ‘Hear me!’

  • Hosted by the Anna Freud Centre
  • An art and poetry event with the chance to view and hear from artists from across the UK, as well as experts by professions and experience to raise awareness and celebrate International ‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ Month 

Monday 23 May: ‘Keeping people safe? The concerns around out of area hospitals’

  • Hosted by The British and Irish Group for the Study of Personality Disorder (BIGSPD)
  • This online webinar will explore the concerns multiple organisations have expressed about out of area placements, as well as alternatives to compulsory placements, and the balance of restricting and enabling people in order to help them most effectively.   

Thursday 26 May – Friday 3 June: ”BPD’: Beyond the Label’

  • Hosted by 42nd Street 
  • An immersive exhibition created and curated by young people exploring the stigma, struggles and stories of people living with a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’
A note on language

The term ‘borderline personality disorder’ is not one that we like or choose, but it is one that is recognised clinically. The term ‘complex emotional needs’ is also used in some circumstances. All of these terms, and the experiences they describe, are contested. But the levels of discrimination and inadequate treatment are widespread and pervasive. And together we aim to tackle the stigma that underlies this discriminatory treatment.

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