About Spectrum

Spectrum is a centre of clinical excellence providing leadership in treatment, consultation, support, training and research related to personality disorder and/or complex trauma.

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Centre of clinical excellence

Spectrum is a centre of clinical excellence providing leadership in treatment, consultation, support, training and research related to personality disorder and/or complex trauma. 

Spectrum drives to develop innovative treatment, design more effective models of care and implement best-evidence practice. We work to develop and promulgate standards of care that are trauma informed, inclusive, and co-designed with lived experience leaders. This approach ensures the provision of quality services for all consumers with personality disorder and complex trauma across the health system.

Our core business is divided into four interconnected pillars:

  1. providing evidence based clinical services
  2. building capacity in the workforce and the community at large
  3. advocacy for service provision and equality for consumers
  4. conducting research that promotes the synthesis and translation of knowledge, augmenting Spectrum’s work and knowledge across the field.

Our mission

Spectrum’s mission is to ensure that anyone with a lived experience of personality disorder and/or complex trauma has access to high quality treatment from appropriately trained practitioners, to address their needs in a time-sensitive manner. This should be available to them in their local area, leading to outcomes that support sustained recovery and improve quality of life.

Spectrum’s work aims to:

  • eliminate the stigma surrounding personality disorder and/or complex trauma
  • create healthcare systems that provide effective, evidence–based treatment for people with personality disorder and/or complex trauma
  • provide leadership in research, innovation and application of evidence–based best practice for treatment for and recovery from personality disorder and/or complex trauma

Services

Spectrum offers:

  • specialist treatment for people with complex care needs, offering a range of evidence–based treatment approaches
  • secondary consultations to other service providers, enabling them to support and treat people with personality disorder and/or complex trauma in their own communities
  • second opinion assessments for consumers of area mental health and wellbeing services.
  • education and training for professionals, consumers and carers.
  • advocacy to improve resourcing of the mental health system 
  • leadership in evidence-based care to enhance the range of supports available to people with personality disorder and/or complex trauma
  • research related to personality disorder and/or complex trauma to help inform and develop best–practice treatment and service development, augment Spectrum’s clinical and educational work and extend knowledge in the field.

Evolution of Spectrum

Spectrum was launched by the Victorian State Government in 1999 to provide specialist interventions for people with complex needs, whose care could not be otherwise managed within the public mental health system, or people marginalised by the mental health community due to the severity of their personality symptoms. 

Spectrum’s original programs were outreach driven, consultancy based and centred on a residential program for people requiring specialist inpatient care. Given its small size, Spectrum could only provide services to a few people in its original design. In the years since, Spectrum has changed and adapted to reflect our desire to increase our reach by building capacity in individuals, the mental health system and the community at large.