SANE is the leading national mental health organisation for people living with complex mental health needs in Australia. In addition to specialist online and telephone support, SANE works with individuals and their families and friends to improve health outcomes by raising awareness, reducing stigma, improving research understanding and advocating for people living with conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, eating disorders and personality disorders.
SANE’s work includes support for people affected by severe depression and anxiety, improving patient outcomes by raising awareness, providing online peer support and information, stigma reduction, specialist helpline support, as well as research and advocacy.
As part of the 2019 Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health system, SANE was awarded funding to deliver a pilot program to support an enterprise-wide digital transformation to deliver these specialised mental health services. This complex and ambitious goal prompted SANE to choose Mav3rik as its partner, tasking them with designing a ground-breaking solution to support a sector in crisis.
The program – a first of its kind – presents a benchmark in defining the future relationship between clinical mental health organisations and psychosocial mental health organisations.
In Australia, the mental health crisis has become even more distressing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, over two in five Australians aged 16-85 years (43.7% or 8.6 million people) have experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life. With limited, underfunded resources available, people are left without adequate treatment or support.
According to Rachel Green, CEO of SANE the road to treatment and support for people with complex mental health needs is littered with congestion, diversion and roadblocks. “We know thousands of people need a support service that provides continuity and connects them to others,” she said.
As a result, SANE worked hand in hand with Mav3rik to think about these people and the way in which a platform could provide real support. “The team worked late nights and over many weekends to ensure no stone was left unturned”, Rachel said.
For Rachel, creating a solution, rather than a platform was integral to create meaningful change. It needed to be both scalable, as well as highly personalised for both participant and practitioner. The interface design was a significant consideration, where smart user experience and systems thinking was crucial to ensure accessibility for a diverse range of people. From a technology perspective, the solution needed to grow alongside SANE, with an end goal of extending the platform for use within the corporate sector to provide support to more people affected by complex mental health issues. This would also help to generate revenue ensuring the sustainability and expansion of the service to help others.
For the pilot, Mav3rik and SANE worked together to design and implement two solutions.
Firstly, a participant management system built within Salesforce Health Cloud – to manage the end-to-end process of renewals, triage, care planning, appointments, surveys and discharge. For this solution, Mav3rik re-architectured an existing Help Centre built on Service Cloud, adding Health Cloud, Salesforce Scheduler and a Surveys to provide SANE staff with a single view of all participants, individuals and households. Due to limited staff numbers on any given shift, numerous automations were also added to maximise efficiencies, enabling staff to focus on providing a personalised experience to those going through the recovery program, as well as those who call in via the helpline.
Secondly, Mav3rik designed a Participant Portal, created in Experience Cloud using a combination of standard components and custom lightning web components, which allow participants to manage appointments and care plans, as well as accessing content related to their recovery.
By leveraging multiple Health Cloud features as well as integrating Twilio for the telephone component, the overall solution is one that can evolve over time, improving patient outcomes well into the future.
“We chose Mav3rik for both their technological expertise and for their approach to the project. Their team worked closely with us; they became almost part of the SANE family. Mav3rik really understood what we were trying to achieve,” Rachel said.
Embedding the CHIME framework into the solution
The CHIME framework is an effective model for personal mental health recovery, where the effectiveness of the service is both evidence-based and measurable. The principles – connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment, provided a clear direction for the design phase. By adhering to this model, Mav3rik extended the use of Health Cloud to allow for important data to be collected, allowing the SANE team to measure each person’s progress against the framework. As such, participants now have an accessible way to exercise agency and regain control over their mental health recovery, with an easy-to-use digital channel connecting them with their SANE care team.
This project represents several firsts in the Australian Digital Mental Health space. As the first Health Cloud implementation for a mental health non-profit globally, the results were groundbreaking.
In the first eight weeks of deployment, SANE received 198 referrals (both self-referred and practitioner referred), and were able to offer appropriate and timely triage, with 43 triaged to drop-in services, and 155 triaged to tailored services. Since launch, the platform has helped people from diverse backgrounds, abilities and age groups ranging from eighteen to seventy-four.
By keeping the users front of mind across the entire process, the partnership between clinical mental health services and psychosocial mental health services can now finally be realised. Further, by providing an easy and secure mechanism for data collection, quantitative measurements can be used to increase awareness and generate government funding.
“We’re delighted to report that the immediate results of our digital transformation provide hope for a sector which has been in crisis for some time,” Rachel said.
As such, SANE has increased the quality of treatment and in turn, quality of life for their participants. Also, the solution generates systematic data collection, providing valuable insights upon which SANE can use for ongoing improvements across the mental health sector as a whole.
“The next six months will be really exciting for us, as we continue to track the progress of the platforms. We’re so proud of what we launched, and can’t wait to see it evolve and grow,” Rachel concluded.
If anything in this article has caused distress or you need immediate support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. For a range of mental health support services including counselling, online chat and community discussion forums, visitsane services
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