Our Helpline and Textline Confidentiality Policy
Ensuring that what is discussed on helpline and textline calls remains confidential is very important to us at Ewen’s Room, because we want you to trust us to keep what you say to us confidential wherever possible. It is also a legal right that you have under ‘Common Law’. Common law is not written out in one document like an Act of Parliament, it is a form of law based on previous court cases decided by judges. In this instance it means that if information is provided to us in circumstances where it is expected that a duty of confidence applies, that information cannot normally be disclosed without your consent. In practice, this means that all information that you provide, whether held on paper, computer, visually or audio recorded (we don’t record helpline calls, but the system that we use for the textline does retain the texts), or held in the memory of the helpline volunteer, must not normally be disclosed without your consent. It is irrelevant how old you are, or what the state of your mental health is, the Common Law duty still applies.
However, although we will always try our best to seek your permission and consent before sharing or disclosing anything that you have said to us with a third party outside of Ewen’s Room, there are certain situation where we will pass on information without your consent:
- Where disclosure is necessary to safeguard you, or others, or is in the public interest – this is especially important if you disclose information about a young person under 18, or a vulnerable adult, who is being hurt, abused or neglected
- Where we believe that your life, or someone else’s life, is in imminent danger
- Where there is a legal duty to do so, for example a court order
- Where a message is sent to us or through us that contains specific information about terrorist activity that will take place or has taken place, in which case this information must immediately be disclosed to the police under the law
Volunteers receive supervision from the Volunteer Co-ordinator and they may discuss conversations that they have had when providing support to callers. However, this is done on a ‘need to know’ basis and identifying features such as your name, are not usually included in this.
We do not routinely ask for your name or for your location and if you ring us or text us we do not automatically know where you are. However, there are times when we may ask for this information, such as if we feel that you need urgent help, but you are under no obligation to provide this information.
I thought it would be a good idea to focus on anxiety during this week’s blog article, and talk about the 10 lesser kn…
The Building Natural Capital Project
The Building Natural Capital Project is a collaboration between Ewen’s Room and the Buzz Project.
Six-sessions to empower individuals and our community to be there for each other through Covid-19 and beyond.