Keeping Things Private and Confidential

Keeping Things Private and Confidential

This page has important information about privacy and confidentiality and how we use your information. Please take time to read it carefully and ask the online team about anything that you are unsure about. We will ask you to confirm you agree with what is written here when you register for our online services.  

Your Confidentiality with Us:

> I understand that normally nothing I share with my counsellor or the online team will be passed on to anyone outside Off the Record without my permission.

> I understand that in exceptional circumstances such as:

  • Where the online team thinks that I or someone else is at serious risk of harm;
  • If the online team feels I’m not able to take responsibility for my decisions;
  • In an emergency or when ordered by a court of law

then information about me may have to be shared with someone else even without my permission. Even then, Off the Record will work to involve me in decisions about sharing information wherever possible and will keep me up-to-date with any actions they have taken.

Information Sharing:

> I understand that if I want information to be shared with someone else such as a doctor, teacher or social worker, then I need to discuss this with my counsellor so that we can agree what information is to be shared.

> I understand that if I was referred to Off the Record through the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) then information may be shared with them, and with the original referrer, as appropriate. 

> Counsellors sometimes have to provide reports of their work as part of their professional training. I understand that if my counsellor’s work with me is used for such purposes, it will not contain my name or anything else that could identify me in any way. If I would prefer my counsellor not to use our work together in this way, I understand that I can tell my counsellor at any time.

Your Data:

> I understand that Off the Record’s collects and keeps and uses information about me. Information about our data policy can be found here.

Making sure things are confidential online

>  Please check that the IT equipment you are using to does not have monitoring software installed that could compromise your confidentiality.

>  If you are registering for the online workshops service, we ask you to respect that the workshops are a safe and private space and that what is discussed during the session is not talked about afterwards.  At the beginning of each workshop session, your facilitator will remind everyone that what is discussed during that session is private and should not be talked about elsewhere, whether in a future workshop with us, in another online forum, or in a face to face setting with other people.

>  Please sign up with your real name, but also choose an anonymous username when registering, one that you don't use regularly on other sites, because the username will be visible if you attend a workshop. Please don’t use an inappropriate nickname. If, however, you become aware that someone you meet in a workshop is someone you know from elsewhere (whether through other websites or through face to face settings) we ask you to always keep their identity to yourself.

For more tips to protect your privacy please click here

  If you are unsure or do not agree with all or some of the statements, then please message the online counselling team or email onlinecounselling@talkofftherecord.org with any questions – this won’t affect your right to use our services.

If you are happy to accept the counselling agreement, please now send us a message (to The Online Counselling Team using the 'Chat'), confirming you have read and agree to the counselling agreement, including this confidentiality policy. Once we receive your reply, you will be ready to be allocated to an ongoing counsellor and we will be in touch once we have a space available.