SANE is a UK-wide charity working to improve quality of life for people affected by mental illness. It has three main objectives: to raise awareness and combat stigma about mental illness, to initiate research into the causes and treatments of serious mental illness, and to provide care and emotional support for people with mental health problems, their families and carers.
SANE offers emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental health problems through their free helpline, which is open from 4:30pm to 10:30pm 365 days a year. This service is provided by trained volunteers with specialist mental health knowledge, enabling them to consider a range of options for support, and addressing individuals' specific personal circumstances. Whilst this service is completely confidential, if a caller expresses the intention of seriously harming themselves or others, SANE may be legally bound to involve other agencies, though they will always try to involve the caller in any assessment and inform them of any referrals they may make.
SANE also provides people with the opportunity to share their feelings and experiences through their online Support Forum and Blogs, both of which are open 24 hours a day to provide a space for mutual support.
SANE also offer services whereby professional staff will contact an individual affected by a mental health problem, at a regular time to suit them. This includes their Caller Care service, as well as their Textcare service, with both services being provided in such a way as to best suit the specific needs of each individual.
SANE also runs the Send a Text Save a Life campaign. This is a practical and powerful way for people to take action when they are concerned about the welfare of someone they know or care about. By sending them a simple text, they can provide a comforting reminder that a person is not alone, and this can prevent problems from escalating, by encouraging people to seek help early rather than suffering alone in silence. SANE recognises that, even when we want to let a person know we’re concerned, we may feel anxious about saying the ‘right’ thing, or feel unsure about how to deal with any problems the person may reveal, but a simple text can help to reduce the size of the obstacle these feelings can represent. In some situations, 'Save a Life' may be literal, but in other it can mean liberating a person from the fear and stigma that so often surrounds mental health problems.