Open Minds announces launch of SANE Forums – an online community for people with mental illness and for their families and carers
Australians with lived experience of mental health difficulties, or caring for someone who does, can now connect and share experiences in a safe online community.
In partnership with SANE Australia, a National mental health charity, Open Minds now offers online SANE Forums. The Forums provide a peer-to-peer service. It’s a space where carers and people living with mental illness can link up and share stories, tips and offer support.
The Forums are anonymous and moderated 24/7 to ensure they remain safe and welcoming for all members of the community. The online forums are not intended to be crisis or a counselling service, however if such case arises the moderators will direct you to emergency services.
The online forums provide many people who are geographically or socially isolated to come together and create a shared, safe and supportive community.
Simon James, CEO of Open Minds said: “We are delighted to be able to now provide an online space where people can open up and share stories with each other. Community participation is a fundamental part of recovery, and people will be able to participate in these forums from the comfort of their homes.”
Members are welcome to discuss a variety of topics ranging from diagnoses through to impact of mental illness on children and posts asking contributors to suggest what they are grateful for.
Simon said: “Online mental health forums are empowering for contributors, and they provide greater reach and accessibility and can therefore potentially help many more Australians.”
The compassionate and positive nature of the Forums provides many benefits, including normalising help-seeking behaviours, feeling less alone, and support. For those already seeking professional help, the Forums can provide a supplementary place of ongoing peer support and reassurance.
The SANE Forums service is supported by the Australian Government, Department of Health and can be accessed here.