About SANE Australia
SANE Australia provides a straightforward and concise information guide on treatment and self help, and moderated forums providing peer-to-peer support. The forums provide peer support for people living with a mental illness or related mental health issues, and for family, friends and other carers.
Who is SANE Australia for?
SANE Australia is for anyone experiencing or caring for someone with a mental illness.
What services do SANE Australia offer?
SANE Australia provides a plethora of information and stories to educate people on mental health issues and how to support others experiencing mental health issues. The website includes factsheets and guides, real stories, a blog, stores of hope, support for carer and tools for bushfire survivors.
The Lived Experience Forum is for people living with mental illness, and 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 Friends, Family & 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.
The Peer Group Chat forum is a fortnightly conversation for people experiencing complex mental health issues and loved ones. Each chat is a guided conversation by peer workers with experience with mental health issues and focuses on a new topic each time. Counsellors are also present in these chats to ensure the environment remains safe and inclusive of everyone.
Another service offered by SANE Australia is connecting with a non-crisis related peer support worker via. email, a phone call or online chat. These individuals are trained to support those struggling with mental health issues. Peer Support workers are available every weekday from 10am to 4pm AEST.
Is there a cost to use SANE – Carers and Lived Experience forums?
No. There is no cost to used SANE Australia’s online resources or to participate in forums.
How to access SANE Australia’s services
The SANE Australia website is freely available at https://www.sane.org/.
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.
When can SANE Australia be accessed?
As SANE Australia is all online, their information and research is available anytime and anywhere. This includes the Lived Experience Forum and the Friends, Family & Carers Forum. However, the Peer Group Chat is only on fortnightly basis.
The SANE Australia online counselling services are available Monday to Friday from 10am to 10pm (AEST). Additionally, their peer worker support is available Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm (AEST).
SANE Australia – 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