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Innovative new service set to launch

People in the Norwich area who have a borderline personality disorder will be given therapeutic support to help them build confidence and successfully deal with the challenges of everyday life when a dedicated new service launches later this month.

Called Ripples, the six-month pilot project has been funded by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and will be run by Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind.

It will offer up to 20 people with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder the chance to take part in a dedicated programme which will help them learn new skills and maintain their own mental wellbeing.

Day-long sessions will be held each week, and will include a life skills programme, which will help individuals to build relationships, take responsibility for their actions, self-soothing and strategies to help deal with their emotions while also learning about the repercussions of their behaviour on other people.

During the afternoons, they will be able to take part in a wide range of activities of their own choice, which could include anything from arts and crafts to health walks, Thai chi and beauty treatments.

The project follows a model used very successfully by Suffolk Mind for the past three years, and aims to give people the skills and support they need to then move into activities such as volunteering or education.

“This innovative service has been designed to be flexible so that people can improve their quality of life and recover at their own speed,” said Sandra Flanagan, Deputy Director of Norwich and Central Mind. “Nobody will ever be discharged from Ripples – they are welcome to keep coming for as long as they feel they need to.

“We will be working closely with the people who sign up for the programme so that we fully understand the issues they face and the things they find difficult so we can target the support we provide to meet those needs. Our long-term aim is to open up avenues for people so that they can then move on with their life and start volunteering or enrol in education, for example.

“We will be placing a lot of onus on responsibility and encouraging people to express how they feel honestly and transparently in a safe and supportive environment. It is a very new and different service, and will be very much based on what the clients tell us they need.”

Borderline personality disorder is a common personality disorder which causes problems with mood and how people interact with others. Treatment can include various types of psychotherapy, as well as therapeutic support offered by services such as Ripples.

Debbie White, Director of Operations (Norfolk and Waveney), with NSFT, said: “We are delighted to be working with Norwich and Central Mind to deliver this innovative new service for people in Norwich who have a borderline personality disorder.

“The programme has already been used very successfully in Suffolk for the past three years and has made a real difference to those who have taken part by giving them the skills they need to manage the challenges of everyday life and deal effectively with their emotions.

“We hope that the Norfolk service will have a similar impact and play an important part in helping people’s recovery so that they then feel able to move on with their life.”

A planning day will then take place on Monday 19 October, which will give people who have signed up the chance to help shape the service by explaining more about the difficulties they face and the activities which may help, with the programme beginning a week later.

Anyone who would like more information should contact Lucy, Sheila or Sandra at Norwich and Central Mind on 01603 432457.

Ripples will be renamed Waves Norfolk when it is fully operational as it will replicate the Suffolk programme Waves.​