Kelly Vincent – Vision Australia Interview on the KYD-X Expo, NDIS and Borderline Personality Disorder

On Wednesday 19 October, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent was interviewed on radio station Vision Australia to discuss South Australia’s first kids and youth disability expo, KYD-X and how important it is for parents and young people. Ms Vincent also discussed the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Here is the transcript and audio from the interview.

Pam Green: Time now to welcome to 5RPH, Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent. Hi Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Hi Pam.

Pam Green: Well on the weekend, you opened South Australia’s first every child and youth disability expo. How did it go?

Kelly Vincent: It went fantastic. So this is KYD-X, the kids and young people disability expo. It was the first one as you said and it was organised by parents themselves because they realised that when their child was born and diagnosed with a disability that they didn’t feel like they had very many connections or much information about how to best support their loved one to grow up the best they could be. So they’ve started this with the hope of giving more parents and families more chances to connect with service providers who might be able to support their children but also connect with each other so that they can get an idea of what life might be like or perhaps even more importantly what it doesn’t have to be like for their children and young people. So it was a great privilege to open the expo and I’m certainly hopeful that it won’t be the first because I think the more connection we have for young people and their parents to talk about disability and be open about it, the better.

Pam Green: And also on the weekend, you spoke out about the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in South Australia after the state disabilities minister urged participants aged 15 and older to begin preparing for entering the NDIS from January. But after all the problems with the new computer portal, are there not many children and young people under 15 yet to enter the scheme?

Kelly Vincent: Well there certainly has been no shortage of issues with the NDIS, particularly the portal as you point out. Many of the issues are gradually being rectified, I think it’s fair to say that the portal is vastly more functional than it was even just a few weeks ago, however, to say that it is fully functional would also be untrue. So there are many issues that are being worked on day by day and that’s why I think it’s really important to take the information that we are hearing with a grain of salt because there are many changes being worked on and therefore the roll out of the scheme is changing as time moves on. However, as I said the better informed people are about what the scheme is and how it can affect themselves or their children as it rolls out then the better. So I would encourage people to remain informed and to make sure they are getting up to date information because as I say there are many changes on the horizon. But from next year, hopefully at this point we can expect young people who are 17 and under to be in the scheme and then in 2018-2019 a state-wide trial will begin, depending on geographical areas.

Pam Green: And tonight, the Upper House, the Legislative Council passed another motion on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Do we have a state-wide BPD unit yet?

Kelly Vincent: Unfortunately, we still do not have an established unit to support the needs, particularly of people with Borderline Personality Disorder, which is unfortunate for a number of reasons. Not least of which is the fact that we know that mental health and mental illness in particular is not well understood by either the general population or the medical community, let alone a very complex and maligned condition like Borderline Personality Disorder. So while it would ideal that everyone with Borderline Personality Disorder could get the services they need in the mainstream medical setting, unfortunately given the complex presentations of many people with BPD, which includes unstable emotions, many multiple suicide attempts, issues with employment and so on. There really is a need to invest in people with BPD in a specific unit, I believe, so that they can recover from the condition enough to start moving into the more mainstream health services. And indeed we have seen this happen, I’ve seen people who have attempted suicide no less than 14 times in their lifetime, who now with the right supports no longer meet the criteria for actually being diagnosed with BPD and are gainfully employed. So the more we invest in people, particularly early on following the diagnosis, the better. We in Dignity for Disability and together with our parliamentary – the Shadow Health Minister, Stephen Wade and Tammy Franks from the Greens in particular will continue to push for better support for everyone to maintain positive mental health in our community, particularly those with a misunderstood diagnosis like BPD.

Pam Green: As always thanks for your time today Kelly.

Kelly Vincent: Thanks Pam.