Join the Fight to Preserve Vital Care for Individuals with Personality Disorders
It begins by ensuring that the Personality Clinic at Oslo University Hospital is not closed down.
Åse-Line Baltzersen, former patient at the Personality Clinic, diagnose-free since 2012, and Gunhild Hofstad, member of the Expert Council of the National Advisory Unit for Personality Psychiatry (NAPP).
We, the initiators of this petition, represent two vastly different but common destinies for people with personality disorders.
Gunhild has been traumatized due to systematic discrimination and under-prioritization of personality disorders within mental health care. As a result, many in this all-too-large patient group will drop out of school, start with escalating self-harm as symptom management, and, worst case, take their own lives. Some may also end up with a preventive detention sentence.
Åse-Line recovered after receiving evidence-based treatment. In this group, we find people who were seriously ill but now have meaningful lives, families, and jobs and are valuable contributors to society.
Which destiny do we want for people with personality disorders in Norway?
The Norwegian Health Minister Ingvild Kjerkol (Ap) states that she wants more specialized expertise on mental disorders. But, contradictory to that, Oslo University Hospital is considering closing the country's only specialized outpatient clinic for personality disorders – even before the government's expert committee, which is to investigate a "thematic organization of mental health care," has delivered their report.
We, as users, are concerned and see this as yet another example of how people with personality disorders are not prioritized within the healthcare system.
The Personality Clinic at Oslo University Hospital is more than just an outpatient clinic. It is a national and international beacon for research on understanding and treating personality disorders.
The professional environment in and around the Personality Clinic is a knowledge bank that guides and supports other outpatient clinics in establishing treatment options. The clinic is also where patients who local psychiatric centers have given up receive specialized treatment.
One in ten of the population has a personality disorder. That means over half a million Norwegians, who, on average live 18 years shorter than others.
The cost of personality disorders does not disappear by switching budget items. The Health Minister's statements and the promises in the Hurdal Platform suggest that the Personality Clinic and its professional environment should be strengthened, not closed down.
You rarely see us on the daily news or the front pages of newspapers.
We do not participate in torchlit parades; few speak up for our cause.
But we are raising our voices:
We will not accept continued discrimination against people with personality disorders, which has consequences for us, our loved ones, and society.
We invite you to support this petition and send a clear message to the authorities to prioritize one of society's most vulnerable patient groups and save the Personality Clinic at Ullevål.
Åse-Line Baltzersen og Gunhild Hofstad Contact the author of the petition
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