Personality disorder

Personality disorder


This program focuses on understanding, preventing and treating severe personality disorder.

A key part of the activities is the Helping Youth People Early (HYPE) program. HYPE has pioneered the field of prevention and early intervention for borderline personality disorder in young people. This work has been recognised through the Victorian Premier’s Award for advancing healthcare in 2012, among others.

Why is this research area important?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is Australia’s third most costly mental disorder. It starts in adolescence and emerging adulthood but treatment typically occurs late when problems in interpersonal relationships, education and employment are entrenched. Despite frequently seeking help, people with BPD are as likely to die from suicide as those with schizophrenia. More investment is needed into understanding and effectively treating the disorder.

Key questions

- How can we accurately define personality disorder characteristics in young people?
- How can we understand the cause and development of BPD to help prevention and early intervention?


The University of Melbourne, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Germany, Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Monash University, Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, University of Wollongong & Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, Reiner van Arkel Centre in ‘s-Hertogenbosh, The University of Utrecht, NSW Department of Health, Victorian Department of Health, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, UK and University of Montreal.

Research Leader

Professor Andrew Chanen
Director of Clinical Programs and Services
Research Interests:
Personality disorder, mood disorders, psychotic disorders.