Our online community
These forums allow people with lived experience of distress and/or mental health issues (consumers and/or carers) and our allies to connect and contribute together. This is a place to come together and talk about what matters to us, provides an opportunity to inform our advocacy, peer and leadership efforts as well as share resources for driving systemic change.
We are the people who speak up and we stand up; or we are working out how to do that in ways that are good for us. We are the changemakers.
These forums are not focused on providing individual support. The SANE Forums provide a platform for seeking and providing support, asking questions and sharing stories. They have forums for people with lived experience as well as carers.
Probing and interrogating are likely to be unproductive, if not counter-productive for all parties, until a person has regained a sense of equanimity and feels as though they are in a safe environment. Behaviour and facilities that are not consistent with a culture that values trust and personal dignity as foundational will not be conducive to allaying fear and anxiety.
Connection with nature (unless there are particular phobias) is likely to be soothing.
Distractions should be strategic in their design and intent. Harsh noisy environments should be avoided so that people can become calm and alert rather than quiet and numb. This is traditionally not characteristic of emergency departments. These aspects and the following are non-verbal cues as to the purpose of the facility.
A crisis centre ought to project a feeling that it is a place where people can start to become well again. Vitally, interest in what has happened to a person should take precedence over diagnosis. Curiosity is likely to stop once a diagnosis is reached. Diagnosis will shape relationships and perceptions, with likely potential for lifelong adverse consequences.
Communication that emphasises prevention of recurrence and hope of emergence from crisis can be through promoting healthy habits in the form of refreshing sleep, recreation, sound nutrition and hydration, exercise and meaningful activity. Opportunities for a sense of community of purpose should underpin the service's activities. Consumers may have been deprived of these forms of human contact or forgotten their benefits.