Pardon us if we blow our own horn,
but just look at what TARA has accomplished.
Thanks to your membership dollars and generous contributions, we have been able to raise awareness of Borderline Personality Disorder to on unprecedented level. TARA brought BPD issues to the attention of key national policy makers, including leaders in both houses of Congress.
For the very first time, members of the Senate and of the House Appropriations Committee will include BPD in their committees report to NIMH, suggesting on increase in research funding for BPD.
We hove become on important liaison for the Personality Disorder community with the National Institute of Mental Health. Steve Hyman, Director of NIMH has written TARA:
"Your advocacy community had a lot to do with helping NIMH see the needs of people with BPD and their families. It is a good partnership."
We are participating in the National Advisory Mental Health Council (NAMHC) where, for the first time, we are bringing BPD issues to the attention of this important national council.
More First Time
•BPD is now included inthe National Co-Morbidity Survey Replication. BPD sufferers will finally be counted.
•NIMH produced their first public information on BPD, which can be accessed on their web site. In addition, at TARA's urging, they have agreed to develop the following:
»Request For Applications (RFA) for BPD research, independent of any activities of any other organization.
»Program Announcement for BPD.
»Request for Applications (RFA) for "A Gold Standard Assessment Instrument," that will be easy to use for diagnosing BPD in community mental health and public health settings.
»Exploration of alternative methods for review of BPD grants, especially cross-disciplinary grants that require expertise in more than one field.
•Exploration of the consequences of time delays in the scoring and funding of grants.
•At a Washington DC meeting attended by John Oldham, MD, and Valerie Porr, MA, of TARA, we successfully advocated for inclusion of BPD issues in future Surgeon General's reports.
Raising Public Awareness
•On Nov. 21 1999 we achieved an important first-time media event with National Public Radio. The Infinite Mind Explores Borderline Personality Disorder was featured on a national radio program. Hosted by Fred Goodwin, MD, former director of NIMH, it featured Marsha Linehan, PhD, Valerie Porr, MA, TARA APD president, and Sally Bedell Smith, author of Diana, Portrait of a Troubled Princess. The program reached over eight million people. Tapes and transcripts are available through TARA.
•TARA is the only national mental health organization providing BPD information for families and providers. Each caller receives a customized info packet including our educational brochure, Understanding BPD.
•TARA sponsors workshops, educational seminars and symposia at various local, national, and international conferences such as the American Public Health Association, National Social Workers Association on Addiction, and the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders. We will be holding seminars at the upcoming NAMIconvention and ISSPD meeting in New York City.
•TARA attends cross-disciplinary conferences bringing current treatment, research findings and anti-stigma messages to areas where prevalence of BPD is not generally recognized, such as substance abuse, domestic violence, road rage, stalking, eating disorders and other forms of addiction.
Helping Families, Consumers,
•We operate the only "National Hotline" for BPD: 888-4-TARA APD.
•TARA operates the only National Resource and Referral Center for BPD. A Referral Directory is under development.
•We have developed a Family BPD Educational Curriculum This not only teaches families about BPD, but also provides hem with coping skills and suggestions as to how to best help their loved ones.
TARA for TEENS
•In meetings with NIMH, Congress, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Surgeon General, we have focused national attention on the lack of appropriate diagnosis and treatment options for teens with BPD.
•TARA has begun national teen advocacy by coalescing family members and articulating the treatment needs of BPD teens with mental health administrators, both locally and nationally.
•We participated in the first Surgeon General's Children and Adolescent Conference. This is the first time BPD adolescent needs were represented at a national conference.
Growth and Expansion of TARA APD
Based in New York City, TARA has established chapters in four more states as well as Canada:
•Northern California: Operates family support and advocacy groups. Advocates for appropriate BPD treatment throughout the California mental health system.
•Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Operates family support groups and a committed advocacy group This longest running group also helps produce BPD information and advocacy literature for dissemination across the country. TARA Pittsburgh vigorously advocates with key Congressional leaders
•Washinaton, DC: Operates a family support and advocacy group which actively advocates with key legislators, NIMH, SAMHSA, as well as administrators of local mental health systems. Participates in national mental health advocacy.
•Northwest Canada: Family support groups are growing.
TARA as a Catalyst for
Research and Change
TARA has initiated development of a Domestic Violence Research Project in New York City. This would bring together pharmacologists, domestic violence (DV) experts, DBT experts, a community mental health organization and the Brooklyn District Attorneys Office. Our aim is to treat DV perpetrators who meet the criteria for BPD (1 of 3 perpetrators) with methods of treatment shown to be effective with BPD.
We are initiating a Teen Research Project for treating BPD teens with appropriate pharmacological interventions, such as Depakote and with Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Our Hotline data and our communication with the research community helps bring family observations and experiences to the attention of researchers.
TARA is committed tp decreasing the stigma of Borderline Personality Disorder by continuous attempts to reframe BPD in the light of current research. We are participating in the American Psychiatric Associations efforts to change the name of BPD and reclassify Axis I and Axis II. This will help to diminish the trivialization of the illness and would permit BPD coverage by insurance plans and inclusion in future parity legislation.
Much has been accomplished.
More has yet to be done.
We are proud of what we have achieved but by no means satisfied. BPD is an illness that has been overlooked for so long that whatever progress has been made in recognizing, treating, and funding resembles how the condition improves… "in baby steps." Because so many people are affected by BPD (2%-3% of the general population), as well as their families, we need to take giant steps. With your continued support, tax-free contributions, new and renewed membership dollars, we believe we can take a giant step forward.