Lithys 2018: SANE Australia - Social Support Champion

Lithys 2018: SANE Australia - Social Support Champion

SANE Logo.png
Company: SANE Australia

Company background:

SANE Australia is a national mental health charity working to promote the wellbeing of the four million Australians affected by complex mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar, personality disorders, eating disorders, PTSD, and severe and enduring mood and anxiety disorders.

SANE’s online community, SANE Forums, aims to provide peer to peer support and connection, and break the isolation that many people affected by complex mental illness experience. SANE Forums is available and moderated 24/7 and is replicated and integrated across over 60 partner organisations.

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Lithy category: Social Support Champion

1. What were your organization’s social customer service initiatives in 2017-2018?

In 2017 – 2018, one of our main objectives was to move across to the Responsive Platform, to provide people with an enhanced seamless experience. One of the main motivations was to ensure people had the same experience on mobile as desktop and streamline functionality.

After extensive user research and consultation, successful migration to Responsive took place in June 2018. Within a few months metrics already indicated more people were using the mobile version and qualitative feedback from members reflects this increase.

Topic Tuesday is our most successful service initiatives, which is a monthly forum event where a mental health professional is the guest in a two-hour live facilitated discussion, directly answering members’ questions about a specific topic. For example, ‘Side effects of medication’ had 188 posts during the two-hour session. For many, sessions like this provide mental health information and support they may not have reached out for in their offline world.

It’s a thread where every Friday night the community comes together with a virtual plate of food (people literally upload images of their food or from the internet) and a topic of discussion and spend a couple of hours connecting about anything BUT mental health. This is so important, not only to reduce isolation, but to highlight there’s more to people than their mental illness.

2. What was the most important customer issue you were looking to solve via your digital technology (e.g. community and/or social media management platform)?

One of our ongoing challenges is the findability of the Forums – that is, how do we ensure people are able to easily find the Forums. Early on, it was clear that one of the most impactful ways to achieve what we wanted to do would be to create partnerships with other mental health and carer organisations across Australia. Our aim was to be able to provide the Forums service to these organisations, and through them directly to the people affected by complex mental illness in a familiar setting (via the organisation’s website they knew and used), to ensure we reached as many people as possible.

Working with the team at Lithium we continue to be able to customize the platform to allow us to embed the Forums in over 60 partner sites using their own branding and website look and feel. This was intended to create a seamless experience for users who would be unaware that the Forums were managed and moderated centrally through  


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3. Please share customer satisfaction metrics, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as agent and response time metrics (e.g. CSAT, decreased customer complaints, call deflections, agent SLA, manual processes eliminated)

“I found this forum at a time of great personal distress, which saved my life that night from the support of others. And many times since then, giving back has kept me going, gave me strength and made myself more understood as I have sought to understand others and their experiences.” – SANE forum member

“Through the Sane forum, I am beginning to finally see that we are not alone and that there are so many other carers out there. The mutual respect, understanding and support is a credit to all. Although many of us give so much to our loved ones and are exhausted in the process, it is amazing that so many people have energy to reach out to others in similar situations. You are all very special people.” - SANE forum member 

See our brief video here:

Key Stats

  • 7,622,403 page views
  • 512,639 unique visitors
  • 395,671 posts
  • 11,745 total members
  • 4,000 posts per week