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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 twenty five year 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:

  1. to raise awareness and combat stigma about mental illness, educating and campaigning to improve mental health services
  2. 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
  3. to initiate research into the causes and treatments of serious 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 and email services and our online Support Forum where people share their feelings and experiences.

These services are provided by our force of over 130 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 on-going 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: "It's like living in a house of paper. Too much is seen, too much is heard. Too many shadows and too many voices." Marjorie Wallace, CBE - Chief Executive. It can also have an impact on carers, family and friends: SANE works to make sure their needs are not forgotten either.

Over two decades 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.

To receive compilations of The Forgotten Illness I, II or III and related articles, please contact the media team.

Mental Health Emotional Support Services

SANE provides emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including families, friends and carers. 

Our mental health support services are completely confidential. Whatever your problems or concerns, you will receive non-judgmental emotional support. Our professional staff and trained volunteers have specialist mental health knowledge; we can help you consider options for support that address your individual circumstances.

Our services and support options are designed to provide a range of ways of getting and giving support, and considering self-help and self-management strategies.

They also encourage you to feel part of the wider SANE community as we work together to address the complexities of mental ill-health including stigma, exclusion and isolation, as well as the daily challenges of living with mental illness.

SANE services and support options

  • Helpline: Available on 0300 304 7000 from 4:30pm - 10:30pm every evening
  • Textcare: Allows you to arrange for messages of support at times that are right for you
  • Support Forum: Available 24 hours a day to share your experiences with other members and give and receive mutual support 
  • Letters: You can write to us at SANE Services, St. Mark's Studios, 14 Chillingworth Road, Islington, London, N7 8QJ
  • Facebook and Twitter: Our social media communities are a good source of contact, support and sharing. (Click links on left hand menu.) You can see all the content even if you don't have a Facebook or Twitter account yourself.
  • Stories: Share your stories, experiences and feelings. You may help others by doing so, as well as helping yourself by releasing and sharing feelings and emotions.
  • Blogs: Share experiences, thoughts and opinions; invite others to comment and share their thoughts.  

NB: Our SANEmail service is currently being reviewed to make it more interactive and collaborative, and to provide a better service for you. It will be available again as soon as possible.

If you need any further information please contact us.

Who to contact

0300 304 7000
0203 805 1790
SANE website

Where to go

S A N E, St. Marks Studios
Chillingworth Road
N7 8QJ

Time / Date Details

When is it on
SANELine is available from 6pm to 11pm everyday of the year
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