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National Alliance on Mental Illness
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NAMI Sponsors Congressional Briefing to Raise
 Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness

May 19, 2010

Arlington, Va.The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), together with the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, today sponsored a congressional briefing on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Approximately two million Americans live with BPD. Those living with the illness often experience difficulty regulating emotions, maintaining personal relationships and in some extreme cases, individuals will engage in self-harm. The illness is a primary cause of suicide.

Leading mental health experts, including Thomas Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and John Oldan, M.D., president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), spoke with the group about the challenges people living with BPD face and treatment options.

"Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness that can cause a lot of suffering, carries a significant risk of suicide and requires an accurate diagnosis along with targeted treatment," said NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick.

"We know that treatment works, but too often stigma discourages people with mental illness from getting the help that they need. Untreated mental illness has significant personal, social and economic implications. We urge Congress to increase funding of research, treatment and services for those living with BPD and their families."

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1100 state and local affiliates that engage in research, education, support and advocacy.

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