New service to support young people with personality disorder

The Young Persons Mental Health Service has recently expanded to incorporate a Personality Disorder Specialist Service (PDSS).

The service was initiated by the State government and service provider Spectrum.

Monash Health is one of only six health services across Victoria to receive funding for this initiative; the others are Barwon Health, Goulburn Valley Health, Forensicare, Alfred Health and Melbourne Health.

Monash Health is the only youth-focused service, supporting 18-25 year olds.

PDSS will assess, treat and support people with severe personality disorders at high risk of suicide, self-harm and or challenging behaviours.

It will build expertise and capability in the mental health workforce and create positions for Specialist Personality Disorder Clinicians.

It is staffed by Elise McIlroy, Constance Karametos and consultant psychiatrist Dr Paik-Yee Ng. The service is supported by Rada Semec, a senior Spectrum clinician, who supervises, consults and trains clinicians.

Referrals can be made for consumers aged between 18 – 25, who have, or are suspected of having a personality disorder, are at high risk to themselves or others and may be considered for referral to Spectrum for treatment or secondary consultation.

Clients with a personality disorder and co-morbid mental health diagnoses can also be referred.

There are three levels of service:

  • Secondary consultation for clients registered with Monash Health – treatment planning, developing management plans or supporting case conferences and working with internal and external services who support the client, facilitating reflective practice or initiating referrals to Spectrum;
  • Training – education and reflective practice
  • Primary consultation

Each PDSS clinician will hold a small caseload to provide therapy for up to 12 months whilst the client is also case managed by the Young Persons’ Mental Health Service.

Clients may also be seen for assessment of treatment needs and treatment readiness.

The Personality Disorder Specialist Service is also able to provide second opinions and support with diagnostic clarification.

Referrals can be initiated by calling either Constance (0404859730) or Elise (0418 308 211) or emailing the YCTT email (

A PDSS clinician will be in contact to clarify the referral request and information required by PDSS.

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