SANE was established in 1986 to improve the quality of life for people affected by mental illness, following the overwhelming public response to a series of articles published in The Times entitled The Forgotten Illness.
Written by the charity’s founder and chief executive, Marjorie Wallace, the articles exposed the neglect of people suffering from mental illness and the poverty of services and information for individuals and families.
SANE’s vision has remained consistent throughout its history: to raise public awareness; excite research; and bring more effective professional treatment and compassionate care to everyone affected by mental illness.
SANE is a UK-wide charity working to improve quality of life for people affected by mental illness. SANE has three main objectives linked to our aims and outcomes:
- To raise awareness and combat stigma about mental illness, educating and fighting to improve mental health services.
- To provide care and emotional support for people with mental health problems, their families and carers as well as information for other organisations and the public.
- To promote and host research into the causes and more effective treatments of mental illness such as schizophrenia and depression and the psychological and social impact of mental illness.
SANE offers emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental health problems through our helpline, Textcare and our online Support Forum where people share their feelings and experiences.
These services are provided by our team of volunteers who undergo rigorous training and in many cases give hundreds of hours of their free time each year.
Our Caller Care service led by professional staff provides ongoing support to help people alleviate a crisis phase or get through difficult circumstances.
SANE also directly supports fundamental neuroscience research alongside studies into treatments and therapies. We are proud to share our Prince of Wales International Centre for SANE Research with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which provides Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy training, integrating brain research with meditation techniques.
Mental illness is complex and can be enduring. Marjorie Wallace, chief executive, says: “It’s like living in a house of paper. Too much is seen, too much is heard. Too many shadows and too many voices.”It can also have an impact on carers, family and friends; SANE works to make sure their needs are not forgotten either.
Over three decades of mental health policy and provision have come a long way, but we at SANE are all too aware of the many thousands of individuals and families who struggle quietly and desperately without the help they need. SANE campaigns to influence mental health policy and improve services, as well as combating the stigma and ignorance which all too often exacerbate the distress that people experience.