About SANE - Carers and Lived Experience forums
SANE - Carers and Lived Experience forums provide peer support for people living with a mental illness or related mental health issues, and for family, friends and other carers. They are a service provided by SANE Australia in partnership with mental health organisations around the country.
The Lived Experience Forum, for people living with mental illness, is generally used for sharing stories and opinions, with the topics most frequently discussed focussing on challenges raised by symptoms, issues related to assessment, treatment and medications, and the impact of mental illness on relationships. The Carers Forum is often used for seeking information and advice, with topics frequently relating to the practical challenges of being a carer, including the difficulty of navigating the mental health system and the challenge of someone being unwell and refusing treatment.
Who are SANE - Carers and Lived Experience forums for?
The Carers Forum is for family, friends and other people caring for someone living with a mental illness. The Lived Experience Forum is for people experiencing mental illness or related mental health issues.
Is there a cost to use SANE - Carers and Lived Experience forums?
How to access SANE - Carers and Lived Experience forums' services
The forums can be viewed without registering, however in order to post to a forum users must register with a display name, password, email address, phone number (optional), and postcode.
SANE - Carers and Lived Experience forums Research and Evaluation
SANE has produced a research bulletin on their forums summarising the key findings of an evaluation report produced for the Australian Government, Department of Health, as well as anonymous demographic data on usage from the first 12 months of operation (May 2014 - May 2015). Consumers using the Lived Experience Forum report valuing it as a safe place to share stories about how their lives have been affected by mental illness, and to exchange opinions. Family and other carers using the Forum appear to value it principally as a tool to locate practical support for their caring role. The full research bulletin can be found at https://www.sane.org/images/PDFs/rb19_forums.pdf