S39: SANE Online Lived Experience and Carers Forums – the importance of e-health, peer support and involving people with lived experience.

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By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Nicole Thomas

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Advocacy,Technology, e-health,Lived Experience, Recovery,Reducing Stigma and Discrimination,Research & Evaluation Informing Practice

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: SANE’s Lived Experience and Carers Forums, launched in 2014, are thriving online peer support communities that are anonymous and professionally moderated 24/7. The development of these Forums sought to utilize the accessibility of the online space and the benefits that peer support can have in recovery. Ultimately, SANE Forums aim to create an online community where people impacted by complex mental illness can feel heard, less alone and give and gain support.

In 2016, SANE launched Thriving Communities initiative, a project that aimed to raise awareness of peer support, complex mental illness and the SANE Forums. The project consisted of:
• a national campaign about the Forums focussing on rural and regional areas
• the development of content drawing on the lived experience people with complex mental illness

In this session, we will discuss the outcomes of this project, the impact of the Forums on members, the importance in ongoing investment in e-health and the ways in which working in collaboration with people impacted by complex mental illness contributed to its success.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience will gain an understanding of:
1) how e-health online communities can benefit people impacted by complex mental illness
2) the importance of promoting e-health services, particularly in regional and remote Australia
3) how critical it is to involve people with a lived experience of complex mental illness in developing and creating engaging promotional material and content
4) who is currently using SANE Forums and what impact is it having on them

Learning Objective 2: E-health is currently an under utilised platform, which is accessible and available 24/7. This is particularly true for services specifically aimed towards people impacted by complex mental illness, as often e-health is seen only aimed towards people experiencing mild - moderate mental health difficulties.
Additionally this session looks at the importance of featuring authentic, real-life stories of those impacted by complex mental illness, to connect and resonate with the target audience and contribute to the reduction of stigma in the community.

Mead, S., Hilton, D., Curtis, L. Peer support: A theoretical perspective. PsychiatrRehabilJ. 2001 Fall;25(2):134- 41.
Harvey, C., Brophy, L. Psychological medicine: Social isolation in people with mental illness. Medicine Today2011;12(10):73-78

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