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Together, We’ve Got This

 
 
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The Black Sheep Project connects everyone affected by Borderline Disorder - individuals who may have the Disorder, their friends and families, and the clinical community - with each other and with best practices, research and advocates. Within this dynamic community, the Black Sheep Project provides a strong, practical base to better understand the causes and course of the Disorder, helping people affected by the Disorder to live successful, thriving lives.

The last decade has seen dramatic advances in research and education that have significantly changed our understanding of Borderline Disorder. At the same time, these advances show us how much more we could accomplish with continued research and effort. There is hope.

There are three ways you can be a part of building this hope:

  1. Become an active part of the the Black Sheep Project’s community: Listen for news about research and therapies, participate in events, share your story and think about how you might be able to support others in their journey.
  2. Volunteer: Discover ways to share your time, energy and experience to advance the Black Sheep Project’s efforts.
  3. Give: Support the Black Sheep Project’s programs and help us advance our ability to address Borderline Disorder.
 

Why Your Support Matters

 
 

At its core, medicine’s understanding of Borderline Disorder is still a rapidly evolving field. The Black Sheep Project is working to accelerate our shared learning about the causes, nature, symptoms and treatments of the Disorder through a combination of Community Resources, Advocacy and Research.
 

Community Resources: 

Giving to fund resources for the Black Sheep Project’s community helps us connect people with relevant information, knowledge and experiences that they can use to determine their own best courses of action.

The Black Sheep Resources Database: We are creating a regional database featuring clinicians, support groups, skills training, in-patient and outpatient services for those in need to access through the Black Sheep Project website. Your support will help us identify and qualify these resources and provide a vital resource to those with Borderline Disorder and their loved ones.

The Black Sheep Stories: We are collecting both audio and video stories, told by people within the Black Sheep Project’s growing community who are affected by the Disorder. Sharing these stories serves to increase awareness, inspire hope, and dispel the myths and stigmas surrounding Borderline Disorder. Your support allows us to capture more stories from a wide range of individuals around the world, knitting our community more closely together.

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Advocacy

Your gifts to fund the Black Sheep Project’s advocacy efforts increase our efforts to encourage regulatory policies that will increase both the visibility and research availability for Borderline Disorder. The Black Sheep Project is currently engaged in two major efforts:

Designating Borderline Disorder as a Serious Mental Disorder: In the United States, the Black Sheep Project is building a Borderline Disorder advocacy coalition to have the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designate Borderline Disorder as a Serious Mental Disorder and working to have the 21st Century Cures Act amended to include Borderline Disorder, enabling increased opportunities for research related to the Disorder. 

Formally Indicating Medications for Use with Borderline Disorder: Working with our coalition of partners to encourage the FDA to formally indicate medications for use with Borderline Disorder, creating more avenues for clinicians to prescribe medications to support therapies.

Research

Giving to fund research efforts will help the Black Sheep Project to continually advance medicine’s knowledge of Borderline Disorder, setting subsequent generations up for even greater chances for success. Led by select committees of clinical experts, the Black Sheep Project will use funds from private individuals, foundations and other sources to solicit and review related research proposals and, in some cases, commission targeted research in seven core focus areas:

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Family and Public Education: The impact and effect of Borderline Disorder on a person’s relationships with others, whether spouses and significant others, families, or within their larger community, sits at the core of the Black Sheep Project. Research funded in this area will be directed at better understanding the societal perceptions of the disorder, creating and delivering educational programs that not only seek to dispel myths and biases but also create new avenues for social support and acceptance, and give us a better understanding of the dynamics at play within families affected by the Disorder.

Genetic Research: Research has conclusively shown that a combination of genetic and environmental factors set the stage for the emergence of Borderline Disorder in individuals. Deepening our understanding about the hertible attributes of the disorder through a combination of population studies and microbiological research is critical to better understanding both the causes and course of the disorder, in individuals and families. 

Neurobiological Research: Better understanding the neurobiological factors - the physical and chemical conditions -  present in people positively diagnosed with Borderline Disorder will significantly advance our ability to develop more effective therapies and help set the stage for having the Disorder designated as a serious mental disorder. 

Epidemiology and Psychosocial Research: Understanding the true scope and scale of Borderline Disorder is critical to marshalling the necessary resources to support those who are affected by the Disorder. Funding a combination of social, medical and archival research will help us better map the Disorder’s path in families and communities around the world, helping us understand where it may be misdiagnosed, under-reported and under-supported. At its most ambitious, this research may even create the possibility for prevention in future generations if environmental risk factors affecting people who may be genetically predisposed to develop the disorder can be recognized and addressed early enough in a person’s life. 

Psychotherapeutic Treatment: One fact is clear: of the six widely-recognized types of psychotherapy that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of different symptoms of Borderline Disorder, no one is sufficiently flexible enough to provide treatment for all disabling symptoms. With adequate funding, the Black Sheep Project can sponsor clinical trials that both help us better understand the efficacy and limits of existing therapies as well as focus attention on the growing field of Integrated Modular Treatment, a multi-phase approach that may arm clinical therapists with more adaptable methods to deliver customized treatments to those suffering with the Disorder. 

Psychopharmacological Treatment: To date, no drug in the United States has been formally indicated for use in treating Borderline Disorder. Yet at the same time, certain medications have time-and-again been shown to help people with the Disorder be able to more effectively engage and benefit from psychotherapy. With support from individuals and foundations, the Black Sheep Project will direct funds to support the necessary research into more conclusively identifying the most effective medications available and their applications. These include large, controlled studies of drugs identified by clinical experts as having a high potential to help people suffering with Borderline Disorder, studies that may confirm the synergistic, therapeutic effect of medications when combined with psychotherapy, and studies that help us better understand the approved and studied use of medications to treat Borderline Disorder around the world.

Professional Training: In establishing a tightly-knit community, the Black Sheep Project endeavors to strengthen the support and knowledge for people with Borderline Disorder, their friends and families, and clinical professionals. Our work to dispel the myths and document the prevalence of the Disorder creates new opportunities to invite clinical practitioners into the fold. The treatment of Borderline Disorder is a rapidly evolving field, and the results of the research we fund helps the growing body of clinical professionals better treat people with the Disorder. With support from the broader Black Sheep Project community, we provide training and resources to clinical professionals, helping them better evaluate, accept and treat more people with the Disorder, positioning clinicians to help individuals and their families gain control over their lives.