Our Confidentiality Policy
At HOPELINEUK we offer a confidential support and advice service giving you a safe space to talk. When you speak to our advisers they won’t share the details of our conversation with anyone unless someone is at significant and/or immediate risk.
We will only share what you tell us in the following circumstances:
- If you tell us that you have taken steps to end your life and you do not feel able to get the help you need for yourself.
- If you tell us that you have the means to end your life, you are unable to keep yourself safe from suicide, or are unsure, and you do not feel able to get the help you need for yourself.
- We believe that you or someone else has been, or is, at risk of serious harm.
- We are told about acts of terrorism or bomb warnings.
We will always explain our policy at the start of the conversation. If we do need to share information, we will only give the details that are absolutely necessary. In circumstances where we need to get emergency help to you, we will only share information about who you are, how to find you, in what way you are at risk, and any details needed to make sure that emergency services staff are safe.
When you call, text or email us, our advisers cannot see your phone number or email address. If there is an emergency however, an adviser can access your number. Third party providers, such as our database provider and our telephone provider, may access the records at any point for technology support, but they will never share this information or pass this on.
HOPELINEUK does keep anonymised records with basic information such as your age, gender, location and the nature of the call. This is so we can use the information to improve our service and to make sure we are doing the best we can for the people that use our service.
- HOPELINEUK gives you a safe place to talk, and we do not share any of your details unless we need to do this to keep you safe right now.
- This might include if you tell the advisor that you have already done something to end your life and you don’t feel able to get your own help.
- It also might include if you don’t feel able to stay safe, if someone else is hurting you, or feel you might hurt someone else.
- At the start of the call, the advisor should tell you this and you can ask them questions about this if you are unsure about it.
- When you get in touch by call, text or email, the advisors cannot see your number or any details about you. In those emergency situations we mentioned, the advisor can find your number or email address to get you some support. The only other people who can sometimes see these details, are the people who run the phone lines and the service.
- If we do need to get you some emergency support, the police or ambulance will only be told a little bit of information about what they need to keep you safe from, they will not be told other things, like why you are feeling suicidal.
- We keep some notes on HOPELINEUK. These are just facts about what we talked about in each call, and we might also keep your age, location and gender, to help us to make sure that we are helping people as best we can.
- You can choose to leave a real or made-up name if you call us. This will help us to find those notes if you can back so you don’t have to start your story again, and so the advisor knows what helped you last time you called. If you don’t want to leave a name, that is fine too.