Sonder is an accredited healthcare provider via the ACHS. Sonder’s clinical governance framework is developed to ensure adherence to the Evaluation and Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP) standards whenever possible and to ensure the model of care aligns with these standards. The purpose of Sonder’s clinical governance framework is to ensure that there are recognised systems in place within Sonder to maintain and improve the reliability, safety, and quality of care.

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Sonder takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to health, ensuring that all aspects of a member’s wellbeing - physical, mental, social, cultural - are considered and valued. This is done through member-focused triage that seeks to identify their unique needs and provide tailored solutions that ensure that they receive the care they need across safety, medical and mental health. Sonder will accompany the member on their health journey, helping them navigate the complex healthcare system (inclusive of routine follow-up to ensure the member’s needs were met). Although this document is divided by these three wellbeing domains, each request for support from a member is explored to ensure that each domain is considered, equally valued, and appropriately supported. Based on a Maori indigenous care model - Te Whare Tapa Wha - the model is evidence-based and has been proven to improve outcomes for members.

The active support procedure is the triage and support framework developed by Sonder to provide consistency and comprehensiveness in the manner that we provide support to members. Each stage consists of important steps that are conducted, in sequence, to ensure that the framework works effectively; specifically, that the appropriate decision can be made, and effective support is provided. This procedure is followed by all human operators whenever a member accessed the app for support.

Following any support provided, if the severity and complexity of a support request is moderate or higher, then a member will be contacted by Sonder, generally within 24 hours. This ‘follow-up’ is central to our emphasis on ‘cultural safety’ within the wellbeing model to ensure that the support provided to the member was effective and to check if there are any further concerns for which the member may need assistance. This works to: flatten the unseen power gradient that exists between the care receiver (member) and caregiver (Sonder); empower the member; and give the member an agency in their health, wellbeing, and safety journey. Moreover, these structured follow-up activities (conducted across any classification of support requests) are based on member preference and are prioritised by the severity of the initial presenting concern. They act as an opportunity to reinforce trust with the member and to address adjacent or previously undisclosed issues.

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Across safety, medical and mental health, Sonder will refer members to the most appropriate pathway to meet their needs; ensuring the right support, at the right time, in the right place, in the right way. These pathways may be used to supplement the direct support provided by Sonder across safety, medical and mental health. Support pathways are either internal Sonder capabilities (e.g. psychologists or Sonder Responders), validated commercial entities (e.g. primary healthcare providers), recognised government services (e.g. Lifeline), or specific pathways unique to that customer's internal support network (e.g. an employer’s whistleblowing hotline or wellbeing portal).

Sonder’s preferred support pathways are unique and specific to that particular customer. This allows members to access support through validated and tailored support from their employer or education provider. Further examples of these support pathways may include an employee benefits program, education provider student services, or an internal workplace policy to help guide members throughout a particular scenario. These pathways may not appear in-app but would be held within Sonder's internal knowledge base to inform accurate and timely support to the member. These pathways can be communicated and updated throughout the partnership in Annex 1, ‘Customer support pathways’.

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Sonder’s personal wellbeing assessment is a self-guided questionnaire available within the app, and is designed to help a member determine whether they are experiencing symptoms of a health or wellbeing condition. This assessment is confidential and was developed by our clinicians to complement the exceptional human support services that Sonder currently offers. The assessment consists of 16 multiple choice questions across three themes (Your Inner World, The World Around You, Physical Health) and can be completed in approximately 3 minutes.

Once the question are complete, members will receive an assessment based on their responses. Results are visualised on a scale (by theme) with an explanation of each outcome, including how Sonder can provide further support. Members can reach out to Sonder to discuss their assessment results in detail, or click onto a selection of personalised self-help articles. In the instance that members are identified as ‘at risk’ based on their assessment responses, a confidential discussion is recommended.

The assessment does not aim to provide a clinical diagnosis, and may not be appropriate for members with previously diagnosed chronic medical or mental health issues. These members are advised (within the tool) to get in touch with Sonder via chat to obtain more specific support.

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Among the members who are supported by Sonder, some may identify within particular social, ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, disability, or religious groups that have been historically disadvantaged. The term ‘socially vulnerable’ is used to denote the complex cluster of factors that have made it more difficult for such members to receive the same opportunities and support as others, making it more difficult for them to achieve positive life outcomes.

Sonder’s wellbeing model is specifically designed to ensure that every member's intrinsic factors are considered throughout any support provided. Utilising an evidence-based model, Sonder’s approach to wellbeing overcomes inherent health inequalities, flattens unseen power gradients, acknowledges the value of individual agency within health and wellbeing, and democratises access to health, wellbeing, and safety support. Additionally, to better support members who specifically identify within any socially vulnerable group, the Sonder member support team completes several bespoke training and allyship programs within Sonder’s clinical governance framework, and team members hold current NSW Working with Children Checks (WWCC). Sonder also holds a regularly-reviewed knowledge base of resources and support pathways that are specifically tailored to support members that may identify from any of these particular groups.

Sonder aims to lower barriers to care at all levels and ensure that support can be accessed regardless of the potential limitations or vulnerabilities that a member may face. Sonder’s service allows any support to be accessed by members through in-app chat, phone, or video, depending on the member's preference. If a member requires language support other than English over the phone or video, Sonder can provide support through interpreter services with over 300 languages available, including traditional indigenous languages spoken across Australia.

Sonder has partnered with an interpreter service to allow booked video consultations with any of its member support teams through an Auslan Sign Language interpreter. These sessions can be completed on request within one business day and can support medical, safety, or psychological consultations.

Sonder manages members who may present within particularly complex needs across the domains of Sonder’s wellbeing model. Sonders complex case management is designed to intervene in the care and management of a member to prevent worsening medical, mental health or safety concerns. This group is a multi-disciplinary working group to facilitate early intervention of higher risk cases to streamline disposition and mitigate against deterioration and adverse outcomes.

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In Australia, a member must have the legal capacity to be able to provide consent to treatment. A member's legal capacity is assessed by Sonder during a support interaction. Legal capacity is considered in line with the proposed treatment. The member needs to be able to understand the nature and effect of the decision to consent, and demonstrate their understanding by communicating this in some way.

It’s a preferred practice that all customers supply up-to-date next of kin or emergency contact details for minors - their parents, guardians, or equivalent. Sonder’s terms and conditions require parental consent for minors to download and use the Sonder offering, which can be accessed at the login screen when registering.

Generally, a minor is capable of independently consenting to or refusing their medical treatment when they achieve a sufficient level of understanding and intelligence to enable them to fully understand what is proposed. This means that there is no set age at which a child or young person is capable of giving consent. Where appropriate, a parent or legal guardian may provide consent on behalf of the member. Sonder will seek to contact the parent or guardian on the minor’s behalf when appropriate.

In some circumstances, a child or young person can consent to their treatment - provided they have the intelligence and capacity to understand what is proposed. Sonder’s clinicians will decide on a case-by-case basis whether a minor has the appropriate legal capacity to consent. The Gillick Competency Test is a legal test used to determine if a minor is capable of giving consent. This test was approved by the High Court of Australia and it is used by Sonder’s clinicians.

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A growth mindset is central to Sonder’s focus on continuous improvement. Sonder's quality assurance program is a systematic review process that determines whether the service provided to members meets the predetermined key performance indicators (KPIs). Sonder aims to achieve a high standard across all support provided to members to ensure that all standards are consistently maintained. The percentage of support that is audited by Sonder’s quality assurance team is as follows:

  • 100% of critical incidents.
  • 100% of deteriorated or urgent cases.
  • 100% of cases where a responder was deployed.
  • 100% of detracted feedback from our ‘Voice of member’ program.
  • 10% of all regular and acute member support interactions.

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The ‘Voice of member’ (VoM) program is designed to enable Sonder to stay relevant and ensure we are effective in delivering each service offering. By proactively obtaining feedback from our members, we unearth the drivers of satisfaction and direct the focus of continuous improvement efforts. The feedback defined as a detractor depending on MSAT and NPS scores is flagged for quality assurance audit and potential escalation to case analysis to ensure the member is appropriately supported and Sonder can learn from the experience. Appropriately anonymised VoM feedback can be aggregated and included in quarterly reporting upon request.

The VoM Program is conducted through surveys at key points during the member journey. To ensure insights produced from feedback are reliable, Sonder aims to gain a feedback sample size from at least 10% of all member interactions and 10% of all engaged members. The key performance indicators that Sonder aims to achieve are:

  • Member satisfaction score (MSAT): 80%
  • Net-promoter score (NPS): >40 points or above

Should members wish to raise any feedback or questions that are not resolved during interactions with Sonder’s support staff, they can be communicated to hello@sonder.io or submitted in-app. A Sonder customer service representative will provide immediate notification to the customer that a complaint has occurred. Further investigation of the complaint will involve respective Sonder representatives and members, to seek a positive resolution.

Sonder aims to resolve all complaints and questions within 2 business days. If a resolution is not reached, then the complaint can be escalated for further consideration.

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Sonder seeks to balance the privacy of our members with the need to share information in their best interests. Member privacy is managed under the Sonder privacy management framework that ensures the systems, processes, and employees of Sonder are meeting the clinical standards required for members' privacy. Sonder’s complete privacy policy and terms of use can be found online and within the app. Sonder may disclose member information to third parties with whom Sonder has arrangements to assist in supporting members if:

  • A member provides express consent;
  • Sonder reasonably believes that the disclosure is suitable or required in cases of emergency (to lessen or prevent a serious threat to either a member’s health or safety or to public health or safety);
  • It is necessary to comply with any applicable Local Laws, law enforcement, and/or other regulatory requirements.

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‘Mandatory reporting’ is the term used to describe the legislative requirement for selected groups of people to report to government authorities any suspected cases of child abuse and neglect for persons under the age of 18 years. The types of abuse that must be reported include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and/or exposure to domestic and family violence. Sonder’s registered clinicians are subject to mandatory reporting and Sonder applies this requirement across the entire member support team. It is recognised that Sonder’s customers may be subject to mandatory reporting obligations and Sonder may be faced with situations that require internal guidance concerning an obligation to mandatory reporting. However, the focus of Sonder’s support will be to support the member’s wellbeing and not necessarily the legislative requirements of customers.

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Due to the restrictions placed on clinical practice outside Australia, Sonder’s AHPRA registered clinicians (namely the registered nurses, medical practitioners/doctors, and psychologists) are generally unable to provide direct support or influence clinical support to members located overseas. The broad exception to this restriction is if it is determined that there is an urgent threat to the member's wellbeing. Support can still be provided through non-clinical referral to the most relevant local service and non-clinical guidance. Support pathways for mental health treatment can be made available for members.

Should customers choose to include international psychology support, Sonder has partnered with trusted providers for clinical psychological support across Asia and other regions. These specific countries include: India, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines & Bangladesh.

Translation for written languages is built into the in-app chat functionality of the app. This automated feature allows the member to communicate through their native written language to Sonder. In-app articles can also be translated into any language on request from the member via call or in-app chat. This translation can be completed within one hour upon request. This allows a more efficient and seamless member journey.

In addition to over 300 spoken languages available for translation, Sonder has also translated the features within the app to read in Mandarin, Thai, Cantonese and Bengali - dependent on the user's own phone language settings.

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Sonder maintains comprehensive environmental awareness through a range of technical and physical sensors. When there is an assessed risk to the safety and welfare of Sonder members, Sonder will notify members through the use of safety notices to ensure they are suitably informed. Safety notice notification types include:

  • General safety notice: This is a targeted message to members in a broad area advising of a public safety incident, or safety information that is assessed to be worth sharing. The notification does not require a confirmation receipt of safety.
  • Response required’ safety notice: This is an authoritative message to members who may be in immediate danger or whose safety and wellbeing may be at risk from an unfolding event. The notification requires a response from each member to confirm safety. When a response is not received, Sonder will continue to escalate until the safety of each member is verified.

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Three primary safety features are included within the Sonder app. Each of these features is designed to ensure a member’s wellbeing if they feel they are in a compromising, but non-urgent situation. Each of these features works in tandem with a member’s GPS location and profile to allow the most immediate and effective response. If any of these features are not completed then an immediate alert is sent to Sonder to trigger a safety response. It is important to note that these features provide the means for members to take proactive action to support their safety and wellbeing, and that there is no limit to the use cases in which a member can use this functionality.

  • The ‘Check on me’ function allows a member to notify Sonder that they wish for Sonder to provide oversight during a designated time. Members are prompted to confirm their safety after the predetermined time or to delay the alert to Sonder.
  • The ‘Track my journey’ function allows members to denote a journey between locations and the primary means that it will take place (car, walk, bike). The Sonder app will suggest an effective route to the member and alert the support centre if the member's journey deviates significantly from this route, stops moving completely, or does not confirm their safety once arrived.
  • The ‘Help alert’ function immediately notifies Sonder that the member needs urgent assistance and will trigger an appropriate, escalating response to ensure the member’s wellbeing. The ‘Help alert’ is the quickest means to access support from Sonder.

When a member does not actively complete the use of a Sonder safety function, Sonder will contact the member to confirm their safety using all available means, including but not exclusive to in-app chat, call, text message, email, or targeted safety notice. Sonder will continue to attempt to make contact until the safety of the member is confirmed. If the safety of the member cannot be confirmed within a reasonable period, Sonder may:

  • Deploy a Sonder responder to the last known location to attempt to contact the member in person.
  • Depending on the circumstances of the situation, notify the customer and seek assistance from the customer to locate the member.
  • Continue to assess the situation. If there is believed to be an appreciable risk of harm or injury being suffered by a member, or where the member is subject to any criminal or other police matter, Sonder will connect with 000 or other intervention/assessment teams as appropriate.

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Welfare checks may be conducted by Sonder upon request by an appropriate manager from the customer if they have concern for a member or eligible member. Any manager requesting a welfare check should start an in-app chat for the most efficient response. Sonder can complete welfare checks if the following criteria are met:

  • The notifier must be a manager/teacher/caseworker of the eligible member and not a direct relative. Each customer should communicate to Sonder the appropriate level of manager that is authorised to request a welfare check.
  • There is a reasonable concern for the member’s safety, stemming from medical, mental health, or other safety concerns (e.g. domestic and family violence and/or, no contact with any member for prolonged time). This may result in escalation to an in-person wellbeing check.
  • The manager has the intent to provide member services available through Sonder for incidents in which there is not a safety concern but believes that the member would benefit from Sonder’s services.

Sonder will conduct welfare checks through any available means depending on the severity and circumstances of the concern. Responses may range from emergency services, in-person checks, or phone/in-app checks. After a welfare check, the requesting manager/teacher will be informed that the member is either safe or unsafe. Any further details are held in confidence unless explicit consent by the member is given.

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A range of scenarios exists where a member may be the victim of an offence or be involved in domestic and family violence or civil dispute. Domestic and family violence situations are generally complex in nature and will frequently involve concerns ranging across safety, medical and mental health. When Sonder is notified of such circumstances, the member’s safety will always take priority and may involve immediate responses from emergency services, in-person support, or in-app communication.

Sonder will ensure that once a member's safety is confirmed, they are guided through support regarding any medical and mental health concerns. A range of support pathways may also be provided, depending on the member's concerns, to ensure that ongoing care and support are consistent with the member's requirements. Sonder can, in certain circumstances, provide immediate assistance for accommodation and/or food before ongoing support can be provided by family or relevant charity/government programs.

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Large scale events such as catastrophic weather events, protests or terrorist events affect the safety of a large number of member simultaneously. During these events, Sonder will ensure the immediate safety of affected members through referral and collaboration with the relevant emergency services & their available advice for that particular event.

In the immediate aftermath of these events, Sonder can provide support through medical support and welfare checks to ensure the wellbeing of affected members. In line with best practice following traumatic incidents Sonder prefers to provide mental health support when it is member-initiated and not immediately following the particular event.

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Medical cases are initially triaged and assessed by a Sonder registered nurse with escalation to a Sonder doctor as indicated. The goal is to work with the member to correctly prioritise and categorise the Member’s medical needs and then connect them with the most appropriate support the first time. Following the Stepped Care Model, the support provided to the member may range from self-help pathways, targeted referrals to appropriate medical providers, emergency services or community services.

Sonder is accredited as a private healthcare service and is not a registered Medicare healthcare provider, eligibility to Medicare is therefore not required to access Sonder medical support although it may influence the decision regarding disposition and referral. Sonder will work with members to ensure that they access the most appropriate medical support they require and that is available to them based on the funding options available to them (Medicare, health insurance, workers compensation, overseas health insurance, privately funded).

Following support and referral from Sonder, if the member is hospitalised they legally fall under the duty of care of that healthcare provider. To minimise the risk of conflicting care, further medical advice cannot be given until the member is no longer under care from that provider.

If a member presents with concerns for a child, Sonder will provide an appropriate virtual clinical assessment to support the member in making an informed choice about the management of the health of the child. Within the context of the wellbeing model, paediatric support may also include considerations with regards to perinatal mental health or mandatory reporting requirements. If the child is assessed by the treating clinician as being competent to make decisions about their healthcare, Sonder clinicians will work with the child directly.

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Addiction, misuse or an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, drugs and/or gambling is a common complicating factor with many requests for support from members. Addiction is less commonly the presenting issue although this does occur occasionally and typically at a moment of crisis when the opportunity to intervene earlier (& with less collateral damage) has passed. The integral role addiction plays in many requests for support is only identified by applying the wellbeing model, lowering the barrier for entry and opening the aperture for help-seeking ("not just a mental health app"). If a healthcare organisation were to take a passive role, then it typically takes a psychosocial crisis at home or work for the concern to become apparent. By this point, a significant amount of impact has occurred (physical, mental, social, family, vocational, forensic), which makes the situation more challenging and costly to repair. Sonder identifies the risk early, earns the trust of the Member through our Model of Care and then works with the member to connect them with the support and advocacy they require. With consent, Sonder will work with the local leadership and family to support them and create a positive environment at work and home for recovery.

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Members who have received vaccinations overseas may be required to supply their immunisation record in Australia. Sonder can provide members with an authenticated vaccine certificate within 1 business day through the Australian Government Provider Digital Access for health professional online services. Sonder will require basic personal information and the member’s non-Australian vaccine record and can guide the member through creating a ‘myGov’ user if required.

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Sonder’s goal is to support each member in their mental health recovery, so they are able to live a meaningful and contributing life in a community of choice, with or without the presence of mental health issues. Utilising an evidence-based care approach, Sonder operates a Stepped Care Model that tailors the level of mental health support to meet the individual needs of each member. This allows Sonder to build personalised interventions for each member and enables Sonder to use the appropriate allocation of resources to meet service demands. The acuity, comorbidity and complexity of the case will determine the pathways recommended for each member.

The assessed severity allows Sonder to ensure that the member can access the appropriate support provider in a timely manner. Depending on the severity of the concern, an appropriate support pathway may range from emergency services, Sonder’s internal psychology support, a customer’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), community mental health services or a relevant self-help pathway.

Clinical mental health is defined by the impact in which a member relays symptoms or behaviour that are frequent and severe enough to be impacting their daily functioning. These cases are assessed by a registered Sonder nurse, with escalation to a Sonder doctor or psychologist as indicated, to correctly identify the level of the member’s mental health severity within a defined mental health Crisis Rating Scale.

Non-clinical mental health support is defined by the impact in which a member relays symptoms that do not impact their daily functions or activities. Non-clinical mental health support is focused on ensuring the member has a positive outlet for concerns, and access to relevant resources to maximise the potential effects of the member’s concerns.

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Psychological support can be provided through Sonder’s specialist internal psychology team if the customer has purchased Sonder’s mental health pathways. Sonder’s psychology team is composed of mental health professionals ranging from social workers to clinical psychologists. Sonder’s mental health capability is accessible to all eligible members after business hours, on any day of the week.

In order to supplement Sonder’s internal psychology team, Sonder may utilise its network of therapists through validated third-party providers for members who are experiencing mental health symptoms that are less acute and complex. These therapists are aligned with the same clinical governance standards as Sonder’s internal clinical team and maintain a shared care model. Clinical reports are provided between any third-party and Sonder’s internal team to ensure consistency of care across a high clinical standard.

Within the stepped care approach, Sonder’s psychology team maximises self-management of mental health and wellbeing by empowering each member to make choices in their treatment. With the member’s consent, the internal Sonder Psychology team will work collaboratively with the member, their families and other support networks, including their employers. This collaborative and integrative approach allows for a seamless treatment journey and an ongoing continuity of care for each member.

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Critical incidents are defined by Sonder as ‘any event occurring in the workplace/on-campus or arising out of the course of work/study that has the potential to cause trauma to the team members that have experienced or witnessed that event’. The death of a staff member or student outside of these environments would also be considered a critical incident. Sonder will triage, assess, support, manage, and notify these situations to ensure the safety and welfare of members. The notifications and subsequent reporting for critical incidents are outlined in the section, ‘Supporting concepts’.

Sonder ensures that it follows current clinical practice guidelines to ensure that all members receive safe, effective and equitable care every time. Regarding critical incidents, the Sonder model of care follows the guidance provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council, which aligns with the World Health Organisation's recommendations, and other significant governing bodies of psychology. Per our stepped care approach, Sonder applies support through evidence-based care at an individual level. Specifically, members should be encouraged to contact Sonder on their terms, to access the specific, personalised support they may need, outlined in greater detail within Appendix 1. Sonder’s dedicated critical incident manager will collaborate with key customer stakeholders to ensure that each incident is appropriately resourced and aligns with Sonder's clinical governance at all times.

Should Sonder be providing psychological support following a critical incident, a one-session, structured, psychological intervention in the acute phase, (such as psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling), should not be offered. (This is for the prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated mental health conditions that may arise after psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling.) This particular form of treatment is not provided as it is not permitted within Sonder’s clinical governance framework This particular group of interventions is of no benefit and can cause harm. The unintended result of the intervention can be to increase the risk of an individual developing psychological morbidity, especially PTSD. Other risks include an increased risk of the individual changing jobs and interference with daily functioning when compared to controls.

If psychological support is not provided by Sonder, then Sonder will ensure that the members affected are supported effectively with Sonder’s wellbeing model and referred to the customer's preferred critical incident support pathways and procedures.

Sonder ensures that it follows current clinical practice guidelines to ensure that all members receive safe, effective and equitable care every time. Regarding critical incidents, the Sonder model of care follows the guidance provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council, which aligns with the World Health Organisation's recommendations, and other significant governing bodies of psychology. In accordance with Sonders' stepped care approach, Sonder applies support through evidence-based care at an individual level. Specifically, members should be encouraged to contact Sonder on their terms, to access the specific, personalised support they may need, outlined in greater detail within Appendix 1. Sonder’s dedicated critical incident manager will collaborate with key customer stakeholders to ensure that each incident is appropriately resourced and aligns with Sonder's clinical governance at all times.

Following a critical incident, Sonder is able to provide Responders to visit the site to provide psychological first aid, identify members that may be impacted by the event, and to explain how to connect with Sonder for individual support. When there is a cohort of members displaying or reporting distress after a critical incident, Sonder will provide psychoeducation on an individual or group setting to leaders, as previously described.. Any themes or psychosocial factors identified as contributing to the distress will be relayed back to the Customer. Any members that would like further individual support after psychoeducation will be provided the appropriate mental health support pathway through our Support Centre.

Historically, psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling was offered by psychologists immediately following a critical incident or traumatic event in order to help prevent PTSD and associated mental health conditions. National and international research has shown this type of intervention is of no benefit, and can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health symptoms, including PTSD. Therefore Sonder does not provide psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling. Rather, sonder provides provide tailored individual care, and psychoeducation.

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Sonder’s therapists can also provide psychoeducation sessions to leaders on request. Psychoeducation is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention that provides a member with information and support around any mental health conditions they may be experiencing, or someone else may be experiencing, in their care. The process includes the therapist teaching basic knowledge and competence about the symptoms, what the symptoms indicate, what triggers the symptoms, and how best to get support and treatment. These skills provide insight into the illness, promotes relapse prevention and helps in crisis management and suicide prevention. When psychoeducation is provided, consent for therapy must be gained from each attending leader, and the manager must have an open profile with Sonder.

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The process for immediate notifications and subsequent reporting to a customer are all held within the Sonder privacy policy. A member’s consent to disclose information will always take precedence over the customer’s internal policy or Sonder's recommendations unless mandatory reporting requirements apply. Assuming the member has either explicitly or implicitly given consent (e.g. through the use of a work phone or Sonder is part of an internal reporting policy) the following threshold apply:

  • Safety usage alert. Should the customer operate a 24/7 security centre or equivalent, and the member is using the safety features within the app for work purposes, Sonder can notify the relevant customer representative when a concern may arise.
  • Critical incident notification. In the event of a critical incident, an email will be sent to the appropriate representative as soon as possible. This email contains basic information about the incident of who, what, when and where. This notification is delivered by email, within one hour of the incident being reported and explicit consent is gained. The purpose of this email is to notify the customer for awareness and allow for internal processes for support to commence.
  • Critical incident reports. Following a critical incident, within 1 business day of the support being provided is completed (which may not be within 1 day of the specific event), Sonder will provide a comprehensive and succinct critical incident report. Ongoing communication will occur between Sonder and the customer as required to ensure appropriate information to enable ongoing support to the member.

Request for information and/or assistance from a customer. At times it may be necessary for Sonder to request the assistance of a customer to best support the member during an incident. This commonly includes requesting additional contact or emergency contact details required to support the locating of a member when there is a concern for their safety. When this request occurs, Sonder will ensure that the request is clearly outlined and the customer is advised that the request is being made for.

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Sonder responders are specially recruited and trained to provide In-person safety and wellbeing support across Australia and New Zealand. Responders come from a wide range of emergency services, nursing, military or social worker backgrounds. Responders typically have at least 8-10 years of experience within their field and are versatile, resourceful and naturally adept at navigating situations where our members may need help. A key requirement is for responders to have demonstrated experience in dealing with complex wellbeing situations, to ensure they can adequately support customers and members. Responders are specifically trained to provide support to members going through potentially traumatic experiences. Responders complete regular refresher training to ensure they are adept and well versed in the means and tools available to support members.

When considering deploying a responder to provide in-person support, Sonder will consider all circumstances of the support case, including incident type, response time, relevant skill sets, gender, and any potential conflicts of interest. The deployment of a responder will remain at the sole discretion of Sonder. There may be circumstances where a situation does not meet the threshold of emergency services, but in-person support is required to assist the member through the situation. When members have an incident in these circumstances Sonder will explore adjacent support services, such as roadside assistance/ride sharing/public transport, to ensure the member is supported. Consideration will be given to emergency services support where the remote nature of the incident requires further intervention. Within all major cities, Sonder seeks to provide immediate in-person support within 30 minutes and anywhere in Australia within 24 hours.

Critical incident responders (CIRs) are specifically trained and upskilled within the responder cohort to assist and support members involved in a critical incident. These responders are trained to ensure consistent support across all members and identify which members may require further individual support. CIRs are available in all major cities, can deploy anywhere, and can be used to educate and assist managers within a customer’s organisation.

The specific training that CIRs complete includes psychological first aid, which enables CIRs to quickly and accurately identify members at risk, alongside contextualised critical incident training, enabled by Sonder’s psychology team to ensure ongoing compliance with Sonder’s clinical governance standards. Additionally, first aid training, medical customer skills and mandatory reporting training are also completed to ensure compliance with Sonder’s role as a healthcare company and clinical governance standards.

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Depending on the commercial agreement, access to the Sonder service can be extended to include a member's immediate family should the commercial agreement include this. Registration codes can be developed to allow access and association with the relevant customer. The customer will need to communicate the eligible internal support pathways for family and friends if this is included.

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The objective of the content and engagement strategy at Sonder is to lower barriers to help-seeking and to empower members to take control of their wellbeing through the delivery of trusted, relevant information across a broad range of safety, physical and mental health topics. The content is available within the app on a self-serve basis, with a supporting multi-channel distribution strategy that ensures members are aware of relevant content that supports their individual needs.

Depending on the commercial agreement, customer documentation such as workplace safety policies can be embedded as articles within the member app. Additionally, there is an opportunity to support this content with a customer-specific ‘resource carousel’ which reinforces Sonder as the members’ single point of entry into wellbeing support.

Multi-channel engagement campaigns ensure members understand the full benefits of Sonder and drive more frequent use of the service through alignment with key seasonal topics such as flu/allergy seasons, bushfire season or mental health awareness days/months. Specific engagement journeys are also available to support at-risk cohorts. These engagement journeys take the form of push notifications and in-app messages tailored to the likely content that would resonate with that type of member. For example, members who have been identified as being involved in a critical incident or who we identify as needing additional mental health support.

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The ‘Voice of team’ program is carried out during the customer onboarding phase of Sonder’s service. It is a survey delivered to prospective members of the new customer. It is aimed at determining the current state of wellbeing within a customer’s organisation before launch. Specifically, the insights help to;

  • Personalise activation and engagement communications to the team members.
  • Reveal any potential pain points or roadblocks that Sonder might experience in activation efforts or engaging with cohorts.
  • Provide the customer with an understanding of what their team members are experiencing/needing.

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The purpose of the ‘Voice of customer’ program is to inform the health and wellbeing status of the customers' stakeholders. Feedback is collected at various key steps of the customer journey, with insights fed into continuous improvement efforts across customer success and other areas of the business.

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Sonder’s business continuity plan (BCP) is an essential component of the clinical governance framework. As a 24/7 service, Sonder has a developed, resourced, and rehearsed BCP that ensures service delivery continuity of all digital and human components of Sonder’s product offering.

Sonder plans for many scenarios with contingencies such as uninterrupted power supply (UPS), multiple backup internal and external systems, and a second location in case of evacuation. Sonder’s business continuity plan can be made available to customers on request.

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Sonder currently operates an information security management system that complies with the requirements of ISO 27001 and ISO 27018. These standards are internationally-recognised standards that stipulate the requirements for an information security management system and data privacy. Per these requirements, all identified member data storage, both clinical and non-clinical, is held within Australia.

Data is collected via secure file transfer between the customer and Sonder when onboarding large sets of members or via the mobile app/web app when directly between a member and Sonder. Sonder collects personal details and location data so that members can be effectively identified and provided support. Case information is also stored to ensure that any support to members takes into account the history and context of that request.

Should the partnership expire without renewal then Sonder will offboard the member data and maintain the Sonder-specific information regarding member support. Members can also request offboarding of their membership or data at any time through either the in-app chat or via hello@sonder.io.

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Biannual or quarterly reporting includes data regarding registration rates, usage as well as basic location mapping of support locations and categorisation insights regarding member trends. Reporting can also include anonymised, significant use-case examples to highlight the care provided to members that may not have been previously reported.

Further requests regarding members' support data can be communicated to the respective customer success manager. If sharing Sonder with family and friends is included in the commercial arrangement, then data reporting will include usage rate is included but case type and category is not included.

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Critical incident is any event occurring in the workplace/on-campus or arising out of the course of work/study that has the potential to cause trauma to the team members that have experienced or witnessed that event.

Customer is the commercial client of Sonder that has authorised Sonder to provide services to its respective members.

Deteriorated case is when a member moves from one clinical state to a worse clinical state, which increases their risk of wellbeing, including morbidity, potential or protracted hospital stay, disability, or death.

Detractor is a member who provides MSAT of less than 50% or a NPS between 0-6.

Eligible member is a Member of the Customer organisation who has not yet downloaded the Sonder application and accepted the Terms and Conditions.

Family member is where specific access to Sonder is given via a family care program. A family member is defined as a direct relative of the eligible member. This may include a sibling, parent, child or spouse.

Informed consent is a person’s decision, given voluntarily, to agree to healthcare treatment, procedure or other intervention that is made following the provision of accurate and relevant information about the healthcare intervention and alternative options available; and with adequate knowledge and understanding of the benefits and material risks of the proposed intervention relevant to the person who would be having the treatment, procedure or other intervention.

Member is an individual end-user who is authorised by the customer to use the services and who has an existing relationship with the customer. Such a relationship may be an employer, tertiary education provider, or publicly-funded social service.

Stepped care is defined as an evidence-based, staged system comprising a hierarchy of interventions, from the least to the most intensive, matched to the individual’s needs. Within a stepped care approach, an individual will be supported to transition up to higher intensity services or transition down to lower intensity services as their needs change.

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Sonder is an accredited healthcare provider via the ACHS. Sonder’s clinical governance framework is developed to ensure adherence to the Evaluation and Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP) standards whenever possible and to ensure the model of care aligns with these standards. The purpose of Sonder’s clinical governance framework is to ensure that there are recognised systems in place within Sonder to maintain and improve the reliability, safety, and quality of care.

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Sonder takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to health, ensuring that all aspects of a member’s wellbeing - physical, mental, social, cultural - are considered and valued. This is done through member-focused triage that seeks to identify their unique needs and provide tailored solutions that ensure that they receive the care they need across safety, medical and mental health. Sonder will accompany the member on their health journey, helping them navigate the complex healthcare system (inclusive of routine follow-up to ensure the member’s needs were met). Although this document is divided by these three wellbeing domains, each request for support from a member is explored to ensure that each domain is considered, equally valued, and appropriately supported. Based on a Maori indigenous care model - Te Whare Tapa Wha - the model is evidence-based and has been proven to improve outcomes for members.

The active support procedure is the triage and support framework developed by Sonder to provide consistency and comprehensiveness in the manner that we provide support to members. Each stage consists of important steps that are conducted, in sequence, to ensure that the framework works effectively; specifically, that the appropriate decision can be made, and effective support is provided. This procedure is followed by all human operators whenever a member accessed the app for support.

Following any support provided, if the severity and complexity of a support request is moderate or higher, then a member will be contacted by Sonder, generally within 24 hours. This ‘follow-up’ is central to our emphasis on ‘cultural safety’ within the wellbeing model to ensure that the support provided to the member was effective and to check if there are any further concerns for which the member may need assistance. This works to: flatten the unseen power gradient that exists between the care receiver (member) and caregiver (Sonder); empower the member; and give the member an agency in their health, wellbeing, and safety journey. Moreover, these structured follow-up activities (conducted across any classification of support requests) are based on member preference and are prioritised by the severity of the initial presenting concern. They act as an opportunity to reinforce trust with the member and to address adjacent or previously undisclosed issues.

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Across safety, medical and mental health, Sonder will refer members to the most appropriate pathway to meet their needs; ensuring the right support, at the right time, in the right place, in the right way. These pathways may be used to supplement the direct support provided by Sonder across safety, medical and mental health. Support pathways are either internal Sonder capabilities (e.g. psychologists or Sonder Responders), validated commercial entities (e.g. primary healthcare providers), recognised government services (e.g. Lifeline), or specific pathways unique to that customer's internal support network (e.g. an employer’s whistleblowing hotline or wellbeing portal).

Sonder’s preferred support pathways are unique and specific to that particular customer. This allows members to access support through validated and tailored support from their employer or education provider. Further examples of these support pathways may include an employee benefits program, education provider student services, or an internal workplace policy to help guide members throughout a particular scenario. These pathways may not appear in-app but would be held within Sonder's internal knowledge base to inform accurate and timely support to the member. These pathways can be communicated and updated throughout the partnership in Annex 1, ‘Customer support pathways’.

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Sonder’s personal wellbeing assessment is a self-guided questionnaire available within the app, and is designed to help a member determine whether they are experiencing symptoms of a health or wellbeing condition. This assessment is confidential and was developed by our clinicians to complement the exceptional human support services that Sonder currently offers. The assessment consists of 16 multiple choice questions across three themes (Your Inner World, The World Around You, Physical Health) and can be completed in approximately 3 minutes.

Once the question are complete, members will receive an assessment based on their responses. Results are visualised on a scale (by theme) with an explanation of each outcome, including how Sonder can provide further support. Members can reach out to Sonder to discuss their assessment results in detail, or click onto a selection of personalised self-help articles. In the instance that members are identified as ‘at risk’ based on their assessment responses, a confidential discussion is recommended.

The assessment does not aim to provide a clinical diagnosis, and may not be appropriate for members with previously diagnosed chronic medical or mental health issues. These members are advised (within the tool) to get in touch with Sonder via chat to obtain more specific support.

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Among the members who are supported by Sonder, some may identify within particular social, ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, disability, or religious groups that have been historically disadvantaged. The term ‘socially vulnerable’ is used to denote the complex cluster of factors that have made it more difficult for such members to receive the same opportunities and support as others, making it more difficult for them to achieve positive life outcomes.

Sonder’s wellbeing model is specifically designed to ensure that every member's intrinsic factors are considered throughout any support provided. Utilising an evidence-based model, Sonder’s approach to wellbeing overcomes inherent health inequalities, flattens unseen power gradients, acknowledges the value of individual agency within health and wellbeing, and democratises access to health, wellbeing, and safety support. Additionally, to better support members who specifically identify within any socially vulnerable group, the Sonder member support team completes several bespoke training and allyship programs within Sonder’s clinical governance framework, and team members hold current NSW Working with Children Checks (WWCC). Sonder also holds a regularly-reviewed knowledge base of resources and support pathways that are specifically tailored to support members that may identify from any of these particular groups.

Sonder aims to lower barriers to care at all levels and ensure that support can be accessed regardless of the potential limitations or vulnerabilities that a member may face. Sonder’s service allows any support to be accessed by members through in-app chat, phone, or video, depending on the member's preference. If a member requires language support other than English over the phone or video, Sonder can provide support through interpreter services with over 300 languages available, including traditional indigenous languages spoken across Australia.

Sonder has partnered with an interpreter service to allow booked video consultations with any of its member support teams through an Auslan Sign Language interpreter. These sessions can be completed on request within one business day and can support medical, safety, or psychological consultations.

Sonder manages members who may present within particularly complex needs across the domains of Sonder’s wellbeing model. Sonders complex case management is designed to intervene in the care and management of a member to prevent worsening medical, mental health or safety concerns. This group is a multi-disciplinary working group to facilitate early intervention of higher risk cases to streamline disposition and mitigate against deterioration and adverse outcomes.

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In Australia, a member must have the legal capacity to be able to provide consent to treatment. A member's legal capacity is assessed by Sonder during a support interaction. Legal capacity is considered in line with the proposed treatment. The member needs to be able to understand the nature and effect of the decision to consent, and demonstrate their understanding by communicating this in some way.

It’s a preferred practice that all customers supply up-to-date next of kin or emergency contact details for minors - their parents, guardians, or equivalent. Sonder’s terms and conditions require parental consent for minors to download and use the Sonder offering, which can be accessed at the login screen when registering.

Generally, a minor is capable of independently consenting to or refusing their medical treatment when they achieve a sufficient level of understanding and intelligence to enable them to fully understand what is proposed. This means that there is no set age at which a child or young person is capable of giving consent. Where appropriate, a parent or legal guardian may provide consent on behalf of the member. Sonder will seek to contact the parent or guardian on the minor’s behalf when appropriate.

In some circumstances, a child or young person can consent to their treatment - provided they have the intelligence and capacity to understand what is proposed. Sonder’s clinicians will decide on a case-by-case basis whether a minor has the appropriate legal capacity to consent. The Gillick Competency Test is a legal test used to determine if a minor is capable of giving consent. This test was approved by the High Court of Australia and it is used by Sonder’s clinicians.

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A growth mindset is central to Sonder’s focus on continuous improvement. Sonder's quality assurance program is a systematic review process that determines whether the service provided to members meets the predetermined key performance indicators (KPIs). Sonder aims to achieve a high standard across all support provided to members to ensure that all standards are consistently maintained. The percentage of support that is audited by Sonder’s quality assurance team is as follows:

  • 100% of critical incidents.
  • 100% of deteriorated or urgent cases.
  • 100% of cases where a responder was deployed.
  • 100% of detracted feedback from our ‘Voice of member’ program.
  • 10% of all regular and acute member support interactions.

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The ‘Voice of member’ (VoM) program is designed to enable Sonder to stay relevant and ensure we are effective in delivering each service offering. By proactively obtaining feedback from our members, we unearth the drivers of satisfaction and direct the focus of continuous improvement efforts. The feedback defined as a detractor depending on MSAT and NPS scores is flagged for quality assurance audit and potential escalation to case analysis to ensure the member is appropriately supported and Sonder can learn from the experience. Appropriately anonymised VoM feedback can be aggregated and included in quarterly reporting upon request.

The VoM Program is conducted through surveys at key points during the member journey. To ensure insights produced from feedback are reliable, Sonder aims to gain a feedback sample size from at least 10% of all member interactions and 10% of all engaged members. The key performance indicators that Sonder aims to achieve are:

  • Member satisfaction score (MSAT): 80%
  • Net-promoter score (NPS): >40 points or above

Should members wish to raise any feedback or questions that are not resolved during interactions with Sonder’s support staff, they can be communicated to hello@sonder.io or submitted in-app. A Sonder customer service representative will provide immediate notification to the customer that a complaint has occurred. Further investigation of the complaint will involve respective Sonder representatives and members, to seek a positive resolution.

Sonder aims to resolve all complaints and questions within 2 business days. If a resolution is not reached, then the complaint can be escalated for further consideration.

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Sonder seeks to balance the privacy of our members with the need to share information in their best interests. Member privacy is managed under the Sonder privacy management framework that ensures the systems, processes, and employees of Sonder are meeting the clinical standards required for members' privacy. Sonder’s complete privacy policy and terms of use can be found online and within the app. Sonder may disclose member information to third parties with whom Sonder has arrangements to assist in supporting members if:

  • A member provides express consent;
  • Sonder reasonably believes that the disclosure is suitable or required in cases of emergency (to lessen or prevent a serious threat to either a member’s health or safety or to public health or safety);
  • It is necessary to comply with any applicable Local Laws, law enforcement, and/or other regulatory requirements.

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‘Mandatory reporting’ is the term used to describe the legislative requirement for selected groups of people to report to government authorities any suspected cases of child abuse and neglect for persons under the age of 18 years. The types of abuse that must be reported include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and/or exposure to domestic and family violence. Sonder’s registered clinicians are subject to mandatory reporting and Sonder applies this requirement across the entire member support team. It is recognised that Sonder’s customers may be subject to mandatory reporting obligations and Sonder may be faced with situations that require internal guidance concerning an obligation to mandatory reporting. However, the focus of Sonder’s support will be to support the member’s wellbeing and not necessarily the legislative requirements of customers.

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Due to the restrictions placed on clinical practice outside Australia, Sonder’s AHPRA registered clinicians (namely the registered nurses, medical practitioners/doctors, and psychologists) are generally unable to provide direct support or influence clinical support to members located overseas. The broad exception to this restriction is if it is determined that there is an urgent threat to the member's wellbeing. Support can still be provided through non-clinical referral to the most relevant local service and non-clinical guidance. Support pathways for mental health treatment can be made available for members.

Should customers choose to include international psychology support, Sonder has partnered with trusted providers for clinical psychological support across Asia and other regions. These specific countries include: India, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines & Bangladesh.

Translation for written languages is built into the in-app chat functionality of the app. This automated feature allows the member to communicate through their native written language to Sonder. In-app articles can also be translated into any language on request from the member via call or in-app chat. This translation can be completed within one hour upon request. This allows a more efficient and seamless member journey.

In addition to over 300 spoken languages available for translation, Sonder has also translated the features within the app to read in Mandarin, Thai, Cantonese and Bengali - dependent on the user's own phone language settings.

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Sonder maintains comprehensive environmental awareness through a range of technical and physical sensors. When there is an assessed risk to the safety and welfare of Sonder members, Sonder will notify members through the use of safety notices to ensure they are suitably informed. Safety notice notification types include:

  • General safety notice: This is a targeted message to members in a broad area advising of a public safety incident, or safety information that is assessed to be worth sharing. The notification does not require a confirmation receipt of safety.
  • Response required’ safety notice: This is an authoritative message to members who may be in immediate danger or whose safety and wellbeing may be at risk from an unfolding event. The notification requires a response from each member to confirm safety. When a response is not received, Sonder will continue to escalate until the safety of each member is verified.

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Three primary safety features are included within the Sonder app. Each of these features is designed to ensure a member’s wellbeing if they feel they are in a compromising, but non-urgent situation. Each of these features works in tandem with a member’s GPS location and profile to allow the most immediate and effective response. If any of these features are not completed then an immediate alert is sent to Sonder to trigger a safety response. It is important to note that these features provide the means for members to take proactive action to support their safety and wellbeing, and that there is no limit to the use cases in which a member can use this functionality.

  • The ‘Check on me’ function allows a member to notify Sonder that they wish for Sonder to provide oversight during a designated time. Members are prompted to confirm their safety after the predetermined time or to delay the alert to Sonder.
  • The ‘Track my journey’ function allows members to denote a journey between locations and the primary means that it will take place (car, walk, bike). The Sonder app will suggest an effective route to the member and alert the support centre if the member's journey deviates significantly from this route, stops moving completely, or does not confirm their safety once arrived.
  • The ‘Help alert’ function immediately notifies Sonder that the member needs urgent assistance and will trigger an appropriate, escalating response to ensure the member’s wellbeing. The ‘Help alert’ is the quickest means to access support from Sonder.

When a member does not actively complete the use of a Sonder safety function, Sonder will contact the member to confirm their safety using all available means, including but not exclusive to in-app chat, call, text message, email, or targeted safety notice. Sonder will continue to attempt to make contact until the safety of the member is confirmed. If the safety of the member cannot be confirmed within a reasonable period, Sonder may:

  • Deploy a Sonder responder to the last known location to attempt to contact the member in person.
  • Depending on the circumstances of the situation, notify the customer and seek assistance from the customer to locate the member.
  • Continue to assess the situation. If there is believed to be an appreciable risk of harm or injury being suffered by a member, or where the member is subject to any criminal or other police matter, Sonder will connect with 000 or other intervention/assessment teams as appropriate.

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Welfare checks may be conducted by Sonder upon request by an appropriate manager from the customer if they have concern for a member or eligible member. Any manager requesting a welfare check should start an in-app chat for the most efficient response. Sonder can complete welfare checks if the following criteria are met:

  • The notifier must be a manager/teacher/caseworker of the eligible member and not a direct relative. Each customer should communicate to Sonder the appropriate level of manager that is authorised to request a welfare check.
  • There is a reasonable concern for the member’s safety, stemming from medical, mental health, or other safety concerns (e.g. domestic and family violence and/or, no contact with any member for prolonged time). This may result in escalation to an in-person wellbeing check.
  • The manager has the intent to provide member services available through Sonder for incidents in which there is not a safety concern but believes that the member would benefit from Sonder’s services.

Sonder will conduct welfare checks through any available means depending on the severity and circumstances of the concern. Responses may range from emergency services, in-person checks, or phone/in-app checks. After a welfare check, the requesting manager/teacher will be informed that the member is either safe or unsafe. Any further details are held in confidence unless explicit consent by the member is given.

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A range of scenarios exists where a member may be the victim of an offence or be involved in domestic and family violence or civil dispute. Domestic and family violence situations are generally complex in nature and will frequently involve concerns ranging across safety, medical and mental health. When Sonder is notified of such circumstances, the member’s safety will always take priority and may involve immediate responses from emergency services, in-person support, or in-app communication.

Sonder will ensure that once a member's safety is confirmed, they are guided through support regarding any medical and mental health concerns. A range of support pathways may also be provided, depending on the member's concerns, to ensure that ongoing care and support are consistent with the member's requirements. Sonder can, in certain circumstances, provide immediate assistance for accommodation and/or food before ongoing support can be provided by family or relevant charity/government programs.

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Large scale events such as catastrophic weather events, protests or terrorist events affect the safety of a large number of member simultaneously. During these events, Sonder will ensure the immediate safety of affected members through referral and collaboration with the relevant emergency services & their available advice for that particular event.

In the immediate aftermath of these events, Sonder can provide support through medical support and welfare checks to ensure the wellbeing of affected members. In line with best practice following traumatic incidents Sonder prefers to provide mental health support when it is member-initiated and not immediately following the particular event.

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Medical cases are initially triaged and assessed by a Sonder registered nurse with escalation to a Sonder doctor as indicated. The goal is to work with the member to correctly prioritise and categorise the Member’s medical needs and then connect them with the most appropriate support the first time. Following the Stepped Care Model, the support provided to the member may range from self-help pathways, targeted referrals to appropriate medical providers, emergency services or community services.

Sonder is accredited as a private healthcare service and is not a registered Medicare healthcare provider, eligibility to Medicare is therefore not required to access Sonder medical support although it may influence the decision regarding disposition and referral. Sonder will work with members to ensure that they access the most appropriate medical support they require and that is available to them based on the funding options available to them (Medicare, health insurance, workers compensation, overseas health insurance, privately funded).

Following support and referral from Sonder, if the member is hospitalised they legally fall under the duty of care of that healthcare provider. To minimise the risk of conflicting care, further medical advice cannot be given until the member is no longer under care from that provider.

If a member presents with concerns for a child, Sonder will provide an appropriate virtual clinical assessment to support the member in making an informed choice about the management of the health of the child. Within the context of the wellbeing model, paediatric support may also include considerations with regards to perinatal mental health or mandatory reporting requirements. If the child is assessed by the treating clinician as being competent to make decisions about their healthcare, Sonder clinicians will work with the child directly.

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Addiction, misuse or an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, drugs and/or gambling is a common complicating factor with many requests for support from members. Addiction is less commonly the presenting issue although this does occur occasionally and typically at a moment of crisis when the opportunity to intervene earlier (& with less collateral damage) has passed. The integral role addiction plays in many requests for support is only identified by applying the wellbeing model, lowering the barrier for entry and opening the aperture for help-seeking ("not just a mental health app"). If a healthcare organisation were to take a passive role, then it typically takes a psychosocial crisis at home or work for the concern to become apparent. By this point, a significant amount of impact has occurred (physical, mental, social, family, vocational, forensic), which makes the situation more challenging and costly to repair. Sonder identifies the risk early, earns the trust of the Member through our Model of Care and then works with the member to connect them with the support and advocacy they require. With consent, Sonder will work with the local leadership and family to support them and create a positive environment at work and home for recovery.

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Members who have received vaccinations overseas may be required to supply their immunisation record in Australia. Sonder can provide members with an authenticated vaccine certificate within 1 business day through the Australian Government Provider Digital Access for health professional online services. Sonder will require basic personal information and the member’s non-Australian vaccine record and can guide the member through creating a ‘myGov’ user if required.

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Sonder’s goal is to support each member in their mental health recovery, so they are able to live a meaningful and contributing life in a community of choice, with or without the presence of mental health issues. Utilising an evidence-based care approach, Sonder operates a Stepped Care Model that tailors the level of mental health support to meet the individual needs of each member. This allows Sonder to build personalised interventions for each member and enables Sonder to use the appropriate allocation of resources to meet service demands. The acuity, comorbidity and complexity of the case will determine the pathways recommended for each member.

The assessed severity allows Sonder to ensure that the member can access the appropriate support provider in a timely manner. Depending on the severity of the concern, an appropriate support pathway may range from emergency services, Sonder’s internal psychology support, a customer’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), community mental health services or a relevant self-help pathway.

Clinical mental health is defined by the impact in which a member relays symptoms or behaviour that are frequent and severe enough to be impacting their daily functioning. These cases are assessed by a registered Sonder nurse, with escalation to a Sonder doctor or psychologist as indicated, to correctly identify the level of the member’s mental health severity within a defined mental health Crisis Rating Scale.

Non-clinical mental health support is defined by the impact in which a member relays symptoms that do not impact their daily functions or activities. Non-clinical mental health support is focused on ensuring the member has a positive outlet for concerns, and access to relevant resources to maximise the potential effects of the member’s concerns.

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Psychological support can be provided through Sonder’s specialist internal psychology team if the customer has purchased Sonder’s mental health pathways. Sonder’s psychology team is composed of mental health professionals ranging from social workers to clinical psychologists. Sonder’s mental health capability is accessible to all eligible members after business hours, on any day of the week.

In order to supplement Sonder’s internal psychology team, Sonder may utilise its network of therapists through validated third-party providers for members who are experiencing mental health symptoms that are less acute and complex. These therapists are aligned with the same clinical governance standards as Sonder’s internal clinical team and maintain a shared care model. Clinical reports are provided between any third-party and Sonder’s internal team to ensure consistency of care across a high clinical standard.

Within the stepped care approach, Sonder’s psychology team maximises self-management of mental health and wellbeing by empowering each member to make choices in their treatment. With the member’s consent, the internal Sonder Psychology team will work collaboratively with the member, their families and other support networks, including their employers. This collaborative and integrative approach allows for a seamless treatment journey and an ongoing continuity of care for each member.

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Critical incidents are defined by Sonder as ‘any event occurring in the workplace/on-campus or arising out of the course of work/study that has the potential to cause trauma to the team members that have experienced or witnessed that event’. The death of a staff member or student outside of these environments would also be considered a critical incident. Sonder will triage, assess, support, manage, and notify these situations to ensure the safety and welfare of members. The notifications and subsequent reporting for critical incidents are outlined in the section, ‘Supporting concepts’.

Sonder ensures that it follows current clinical practice guidelines to ensure that all members receive safe, effective and equitable care every time. Regarding critical incidents, the Sonder model of care follows the guidance provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council, which aligns with the World Health Organisation's recommendations, and other significant governing bodies of psychology. Per our stepped care approach, Sonder applies support through evidence-based care at an individual level. Specifically, members should be encouraged to contact Sonder on their terms, to access the specific, personalised support they may need, outlined in greater detail within Appendix 1. Sonder’s dedicated critical incident manager will collaborate with key customer stakeholders to ensure that each incident is appropriately resourced and aligns with Sonder's clinical governance at all times.

Should Sonder be providing psychological support following a critical incident, a one-session, structured, psychological intervention in the acute phase, (such as psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling), should not be offered. (This is for the prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and associated mental health conditions that may arise after psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling.) This particular form of treatment is not provided as it is not permitted within Sonder’s clinical governance framework This particular group of interventions is of no benefit and can cause harm. The unintended result of the intervention can be to increase the risk of an individual developing psychological morbidity, especially PTSD. Other risks include an increased risk of the individual changing jobs and interference with daily functioning when compared to controls.

If psychological support is not provided by Sonder, then Sonder will ensure that the members affected are supported effectively with Sonder’s wellbeing model and referred to the customer's preferred critical incident support pathways and procedures.

Sonder ensures that it follows current clinical practice guidelines to ensure that all members receive safe, effective and equitable care every time. Regarding critical incidents, the Sonder model of care follows the guidance provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council, which aligns with the World Health Organisation's recommendations, and other significant governing bodies of psychology. In accordance with Sonders' stepped care approach, Sonder applies support through evidence-based care at an individual level. Specifically, members should be encouraged to contact Sonder on their terms, to access the specific, personalised support they may need, outlined in greater detail within Appendix 1. Sonder’s dedicated critical incident manager will collaborate with key customer stakeholders to ensure that each incident is appropriately resourced and aligns with Sonder's clinical governance at all times.

Following a critical incident, Sonder is able to provide Responders to visit the site to provide psychological first aid, identify members that may be impacted by the event, and to explain how to connect with Sonder for individual support. When there is a cohort of members displaying or reporting distress after a critical incident, Sonder will provide psychoeducation on an individual or group setting to leaders, as previously described.. Any themes or psychosocial factors identified as contributing to the distress will be relayed back to the Customer. Any members that would like further individual support after psychoeducation will be provided the appropriate mental health support pathway through our Support Centre.

Historically, psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling was offered by psychologists immediately following a critical incident or traumatic event in order to help prevent PTSD and associated mental health conditions. National and international research has shown this type of intervention is of no benefit, and can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health symptoms, including PTSD. Therefore Sonder does not provide psychological debriefing or mandatory trauma counselling. Rather, sonder provides provide tailored individual care, and psychoeducation.

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Sonder’s therapists can also provide psychoeducation sessions to leaders on request. Psychoeducation is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention that provides a member with information and support around any mental health conditions they may be experiencing, or someone else may be experiencing, in their care. The process includes the therapist teaching basic knowledge and competence about the symptoms, what the symptoms indicate, what triggers the symptoms, and how best to get support and treatment. These skills provide insight into the illness, promotes relapse prevention and helps in crisis management and suicide prevention. When psychoeducation is provided, consent for therapy must be gained from each attending leader, and the manager must have an open profile with Sonder.

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The process for immediate notifications and subsequent reporting to a customer are all held within the Sonder privacy policy. A member’s consent to disclose information will always take precedence over the customer’s internal policy or Sonder's recommendations unless mandatory reporting requirements apply. Assuming the member has either explicitly or implicitly given consent (e.g. through the use of a work phone or Sonder is part of an internal reporting policy) the following threshold apply:

  • Safety usage alert. Should the customer operate a 24/7 security centre or equivalent, and the member is using the safety features within the app for work purposes, Sonder can notify the relevant customer representative when a concern may arise.
  • Critical incident notification. In the event of a critical incident, an email will be sent to the appropriate representative as soon as possible. This email contains basic information about the incident of who, what, when and where. This notification is delivered by email, within one hour of the incident being reported and explicit consent is gained. The purpose of this email is to notify the customer for awareness and allow for internal processes for support to commence.
  • Critical incident reports. Following a critical incident, within 1 business day of the support being provided is completed (which may not be within 1 day of the specific event), Sonder will provide a comprehensive and succinct critical incident report. Ongoing communication will occur between Sonder and the customer as required to ensure appropriate information to enable ongoing support to the member.

Request for information and/or assistance from a customer. At times it may be necessary for Sonder to request the assistance of a customer to best support the member during an incident. This commonly includes requesting additional contact or emergency contact details required to support the locating of a member when there is a concern for their safety. When this request occurs, Sonder will ensure that the request is clearly outlined and the customer is advised that the request is being made for.

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Sonder responders are specially recruited and trained to provide In-person safety and wellbeing support across Australia and New Zealand. Responders come from a wide range of emergency services, nursing, military or social worker backgrounds. Responders typically have at least 8-10 years of experience within their field and are versatile, resourceful and naturally adept at navigating situations where our members may need help. A key requirement is for responders to have demonstrated experience in dealing with complex wellbeing situations, to ensure they can adequately support customers and members. Responders are specifically trained to provide support to members going through potentially traumatic experiences. Responders complete regular refresher training to ensure they are adept and well versed in the means and tools available to support members.

When considering deploying a responder to provide in-person support, Sonder will consider all circumstances of the support case, including incident type, response time, relevant skill sets, gender, and any potential conflicts of interest. The deployment of a responder will remain at the sole discretion of Sonder. There may be circumstances where a situation does not meet the threshold of emergency services, but in-person support is required to assist the member through the situation. When members have an incident in these circumstances Sonder will explore adjacent support services, such as roadside assistance/ride sharing/public transport, to ensure the member is supported. Consideration will be given to emergency services support where the remote nature of the incident requires further intervention. Within all major cities, Sonder seeks to provide immediate in-person support within 30 minutes and anywhere in Australia within 24 hours.

Critical incident responders (CIRs) are specifically trained and upskilled within the responder cohort to assist and support members involved in a critical incident. These responders are trained to ensure consistent support across all members and identify which members may require further individual support. CIRs are available in all major cities, can deploy anywhere, and can be used to educate and assist managers within a customer’s organisation.

The specific training that CIRs complete includes psychological first aid, which enables CIRs to quickly and accurately identify members at risk, alongside contextualised critical incident training, enabled by Sonder’s psychology team to ensure ongoing compliance with Sonder’s clinical governance standards. Additionally, first aid training, medical customer skills and mandatory reporting training are also completed to ensure compliance with Sonder’s role as a healthcare company and clinical governance standards.

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Depending on the commercial agreement, access to the Sonder service can be extended to include a member's immediate family should the commercial agreement include this. Registration codes can be developed to allow access and association with the relevant customer. The customer will need to communicate the eligible internal support pathways for family and friends if this is included.

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The objective of the content and engagement strategy at Sonder is to lower barriers to help-seeking and to empower members to take control of their wellbeing through the delivery of trusted, relevant information across a broad range of safety, physical and mental health topics. The content is available within the app on a self-serve basis, with a supporting multi-channel distribution strategy that ensures members are aware of relevant content that supports their individual needs.

Depending on the commercial agreement, customer documentation such as workplace safety policies can be embedded as articles within the member app. Additionally, there is an opportunity to support this content with a customer-specific ‘resource carousel’ which reinforces Sonder as the members’ single point of entry into wellbeing support.

Multi-channel engagement campaigns ensure members understand the full benefits of Sonder and drive more frequent use of the service through alignment with key seasonal topics such as flu/allergy seasons, bushfire season or mental health awareness days/months. Specific engagement journeys are also available to support at-risk cohorts. These engagement journeys take the form of push notifications and in-app messages tailored to the likely content that would resonate with that type of member. For example, members who have been identified as being involved in a critical incident or who we identify as needing additional mental health support.

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The ‘Voice of team’ program is carried out during the customer onboarding phase of Sonder’s service. It is a survey delivered to prospective members of the new customer. It is aimed at determining the current state of wellbeing within a customer’s organisation before launch. Specifically, the insights help to;

  • Personalise activation and engagement communications to the team members.
  • Reveal any potential pain points or roadblocks that Sonder might experience in activation efforts or engaging with cohorts.
  • Provide the customer with an understanding of what their team members are experiencing/needing.

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The purpose of the ‘Voice of customer’ program is to inform the health and wellbeing status of the customers' stakeholders. Feedback is collected at various key steps of the customer journey, with insights fed into continuous improvement efforts across customer success and other areas of the business.

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Sonder’s business continuity plan (BCP) is an essential component of the clinical governance framework. As a 24/7 service, Sonder has a developed, resourced, and rehearsed BCP that ensures service delivery continuity of all digital and human components of Sonder’s product offering.

Sonder plans for many scenarios with contingencies such as uninterrupted power supply (UPS), multiple backup internal and external systems, and a second location in case of evacuation. Sonder’s business continuity plan can be made available to customers on request.

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Sonder currently operates an information security management system that complies with the requirements of ISO 27001 and ISO 27018. These standards are internationally-recognised standards that stipulate the requirements for an information security management system and data privacy. Per these requirements, all identified member data storage, both clinical and non-clinical, is held within Australia.

Data is collected via secure file transfer between the customer and Sonder when onboarding large sets of members or via the mobile app/web app when directly between a member and Sonder. Sonder collects personal details and location data so that members can be effectively identified and provided support. Case information is also stored to ensure that any support to members takes into account the history and context of that request.

Should the partnership expire without renewal then Sonder will offboard the member data and maintain the Sonder-specific information regarding member support. Members can also request offboarding of their membership or data at any time through either the in-app chat or via hello@sonder.io.

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Biannual or quarterly reporting includes data regarding registration rates, usage as well as basic location mapping of support locations and categorisation insights regarding member trends. Reporting can also include anonymised, significant use-case examples to highlight the care provided to members that may not have been previously reported.

Further requests regarding members' support data can be communicated to the respective customer success manager. If sharing Sonder with family and friends is included in the commercial arrangement, then data reporting will include usage rate is included but case type and category is not included.

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Critical incident is any event occurring in the workplace/on-campus or arising out of the course of work/study that has the potential to cause trauma to the team members that have experienced or witnessed that event.

Customer is the commercial client of Sonder that has authorised Sonder to provide services to its respective members.

Deteriorated case is when a member moves from one clinical state to a worse clinical state, which increases their risk of wellbeing, including morbidity, potential or protracted hospital stay, disability, or death.

Detractor is a member who provides MSAT of less than 50% or a NPS between 0-6.

Eligible member is a Member of the Customer organisation who has not yet downloaded the Sonder application and accepted the Terms and Conditions.

Family member is where specific access to Sonder is given via a family care program. A family member is defined as a direct relative of the eligible member. This may include a sibling, parent, child or spouse.

Informed consent is a person’s decision, given voluntarily, to agree to healthcare treatment, procedure or other intervention that is made following the provision of accurate and relevant information about the healthcare intervention and alternative options available; and with adequate knowledge and understanding of the benefits and material risks of the proposed intervention relevant to the person who would be having the treatment, procedure or other intervention.

Member is an individual end-user who is authorised by the customer to use the services and who has an existing relationship with the customer. Such a relationship may be an employer, tertiary education provider, or publicly-funded social service.

Stepped care is defined as an evidence-based, staged system comprising a hierarchy of interventions, from the least to the most intensive, matched to the individual’s needs. Within a stepped care approach, an individual will be supported to transition up to higher intensity services or transition down to lower intensity services as their needs change.

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