People living with complex mental health issues face stigma, discrimination and a system making it difficult to access the services and supports required. Whilst removing inequities and social and economic exclusion for people with complex mental health is the driving force behind SANE, they needed to shift focus towards providing access to supports. With this clear need and funding from the Australian government, SANE put their plan into action to reach the people most impacted, with the greatest barriers. The team was tasked with redeveloping SANE’s digital platforms to extend reach as well as digital integration of their supports program.
Research showed that safe, flexible support options and personalised services are crucial, so key moments were designed to ensure service onboarding was simple and personalised, navigating the portal was intuitive, and booking supports was effortless. We created the ‘breakthrough complexity’ brand idea which consciously opposes the ‘comforting’ attitude that most mental health brands adopt. SANE’s identity is crafted around making space for difference – letters and shapes grow and shrink out of place and colours are unapologetic, creating a strong coherent presence and fearless voice for change.
SANE’s website and customer portal is a ground-breaking digital support service. The heart of the experience is a relatable and encouraging tone, supporting people to navigate their options and ensure interactions are more than transactional. Our collaboration with SANE supported them as they successfully navigated the first tricky stage of transformation to create a support service that’s been designed to grow and a re-energised brand that will cut-through in the crowded mental health landscape. Together this signals big change for the organisation; for people with complex mental health issues and for the Australian mental health system more broadly.
With a new vision and service about to reshape how people see and experience SANE, the brand narrative needed to change too. The brand had to be more customer-facing and connect with people with complex mental health issues amongst a crowded and confusing sea of mental health brands. SANE was ready to break barriers, raise expectations and not hide behind the uncomfortable bits. We complemented existing research with our own user research and co-design activities. We talked with people living with complex mental health and their carers to uncover their challenges, needs and how they access support. We worked alongside Nous as they facilitated a new strategic plan for the organisation and Alive National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation a specialist mental health implementation research group. To explore the hypothesis that SANE had about how the service should be designed, we created a series of workshops and guided the team through mapping the end-to-end service using experience principles, scenarios, and detailed personas. Over a series of rapid design sprints, we tested different aspects of the service with people with lived experience and specifically those with autism and intellectual disabilities.