SANE Australia has been voted one of the top three organisations in the world for the excellence and innovation of its online forums service, provided via the Lithium software platform.
The Awards for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction were presented at the annual LINC Conference in San Francisco, California, today. 'Competing against some of the biggest corporations from around the world, we're especially delighted that this award recognises a service providing an online forum where people affected by mental illness and carers can help each other safely and anonymously,' says Jack Heath, CEO of SANE Australia.
SANE Forums was launched at Parliament House, Canberra, in August 2014 by then Health Minister, the Hon. Peter Dutton, and is funded by the Australian Government and the Colonial Foundation. The service has exceeded all expectations, with over 1,000 discussions taking place, in excess of 40,000 visitors, and more than 400,000 pages viewed to date.
The forums are used by people living with mental illness and by family and other carers from all around Australia. Over one in four participants live in rural or remote communities, where support is especially difficult to find. A major factor in the success of the service has been the partnership model used, whereby the forums are made available within the websites of more than 20 leading mental health organisations around Australia.
'The online forums are a game-changer in mental health,' says Jack Heath. 'By unleashing the power of peer to peer support, thousands of people around Australia are now receiving helpful information, advice, and mutual support from others who understand exactly what they are going through. Importantly, this complements existing on-to-one services provided by mental health professionals, while also giving new and much-needed support to people living in rural and remote Australia.'