Company: SANE Australia
Entry submitted by: Nicole Thomas (Community Manager)
Community: SANE Forums
Lithy category: Excellence in Customer Satisfaction
SANE’s mission is to help all Australians affected by mental illness lead a better life. SANE does this through three key areas of activity to promote a better life for all Australians affected by mental illness: Support, Training, and Education.
As part of the activity of Support, SANE runs an online peer support community for people affected by mental illness. This is done through two communities – one for carers of people affected by mental illness and one for those with a lived experience.
Our customer satisfaction initiatives
- Help those with affected by mental illness feel less alone: ‘Friday Feast’ (see discussion here) started in 2015, as an opportunity for members to come together on a Friday night, bring a virtual ‘plate of food’ and have dinner together. Friday Feast is one of our most visited discussions, and received Australia wide media attention during Christmas, when members who were alone for Christmas Dinner logged on to be less alone.
- Service integration: Giving people a seamless experience between sane.org and saneforums.org through Lithium discussion tagging ability.
- Strengthening and growth of the community: To increase the sense of community, a new Role/Rank was created for members who have demonstrated loyalty and commitment to the community. The new role/rank of ‘Community Guide’ was given to members who have now taken on extra responsibilities to nurture and grow the community through one on one interactions with new members or members who need extra support.
- Live community events: Hosting “live sessions” for members to connect with experts conducted through the Lithium platform, to increase knowledge, skills and encourage help seeking. Topics of live sessions have included:
Caring for someone with Bipolar
Managing and changing your thoughts
Myths of Borderline Personality Disorder
The most important customer issue we were looking to solve via Lithium implementation
- Member safety and those at risk of harm are identified and managed quickly, through 24/7 moderation: In 2015, SANE Australia built their moderation team to 77. The team is made up of SANE Australia’s Help Centre team and staff from our partner organisations, who are geographically spread across Australia. Through the Lithium Platform and specifically Moderator Manager, we have been able to create a strong team of moderators, who are consistent in monitoring guidelines and the safety of members. Alongside Moderator Manager, the Lithium platform has given us the ability to house training videos and to communicate with each other, in a ‘moderator only’ space. This communication has been vital to the consistency and quality of the team.
- Increased access to people geographically or socially isolated, to connection, support and a community to belong to: Through our partnership syndicated model, more people have had the opportunity to access the Forums. We have continued to grow our partnership pool from 15 partners in 2014, to 35 partners by December 2015. (example of syndication)
- Live Community Events: These sessions have given people access to information, advice and skill building opportunities to improve their mental health, which they may not have otherwise, due to their geographic or social isolation. In these two hour live session we see, on average, between 60 – 110 posts and thousands of views.
- ‘Friday Feast’ has been particularly successful in reducing the sense of isolation, giving members a place to connect, sharing a virtual ‘plate of food’ and forget about their mental health difficulties. Over the Christmas period, Friday Feast gained extensive media coverage, as a place people who were alone on Christmas night could connect.
- Website and community integration: We have provided people with a seamless transition between the SANE Australia website and SANE Forums. We have utilized Lithium’s integration ability by tagging forum discussions to be visible on SANE Australia’s website in specific and relevant locations (Example: below and SANE website factsheet).
"I am a SANE community member for the long haul ..its in my home town ... not just a virtual reality existence."
“I cannot express how much hope you have given me. Thank you so much for sharing your experience because before I read that tonight I thought there was no hope.”
“Reading posts and sharing on this forum has been very important to me .. like the first time I feel fully accepted among a group of people .. like finding my tribe.”
“The forums have also helped me find motivation to do some important things I'd been putting off in my depression. This was with encouragement from other members and moderators.
“I enjoy the 'Topic Tuesdays' (aka Live Forum Events), these are worth watching out for. They are like workshops where members and moderators are online participating at the same time. It's fine to be quiet or to add comments. The last one which happened about a week ago felt therapeutic. Thanks for running it”
- 82% reported feeling safe in the Forums
- 71% reported experiencing the support from peers in the Forums
- 77% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed they felt comfortable sharing their experiences
CHI average increased throughout the year and didn’t dip below 600 between August 2015 – December 2015, with 709 being our highest score in October.
Overall in 2015, 86% of posts were generated by members, demonstrating the peer to peer connection between members.
Since launch (5 May 2014) to 20 March 2016
New discussions: 2316
Total members: 2816
Page Views - Total: 1,065,203
Page Views - Mobile: 260,860
Page Views - Tablet 59,964
Unique visitors: 110,746