CALM offers accredited, confidential, anonymous support to men anywhere in the UK through our helpline and webchat. Calls and chats are taken by trained staff who are there to listen, support, inform and signpost. The service is open from 5pm to midnight. Outside these hours, please visit www.thecalmzone.net for information on alternative services.
Because calls are confidential and anonymous we don’t and can’t offer a counselling service.
On rare occasions we may be required to break confidentiality. These instances are clearly outlined in this document.
The CALM Helpline and Webchat Service (the CALM helpline) is provided on behalf of CALM by a community interest company limited by guarantee (CALM’s helpline partner). The CALM helpline respects and seeks to preserve the confidentiality of users. Confidentiality is based on the common law ‘duty of confidence’ and is shared between the caller and the CALM helpline, not the individual worker.
Privacy and The Helpline
The CALM helpline respects the privacy of users. For this reason, caller display is disabled on helpline channels and telephone numbers are not seen or recorded by CALM’s helpline partner. CALM’s helpline partner has no access to IP addresses; however, these are automatically collected by the CALM website. These are not shared or used to identify user’s identity except in circumstances where CALM is legally required to (e.g. if we receive a court order requiring us to share information or are required to do so by nation-specific legislation). Further information on when we break confidentiality is available below.
Breaking confidentiality with consent
If a user of the CALM helpline presents with a cause for concern, defined as an imminent risk of death to themselves or someone else or with information pertaining to terrorism then this is the only circumstance in which personal data information will be requested from a user.
In this instance the CALM helpline will attempt to gain personal information, and the users consent to share them. After this consent is received information will be gathered to pass on to emergency services so that the individual subject of the cause for concern can be reached and assisted. This data is only passed on to the emergency services. Emergency services will record this information according to their policies and procedures, beyond the control of CALM.
Personal data may also be collected in the event of a complaint being made. It will only be used for the specific purpose of responding to the complaint and no further processing will be carried out.
Breaking confidentiality without Consent
In extremely rare cases, the CALM helpline may need to gather and share personal information without gaining consent. This will be in situations where:
- There is a legal requirement to provide information following receipt of a court order requiring us to share information or are required to do so by nation-specific legislation.
- Information regarding an imminent act of terrorism or similar risk to the life of a third party
- A user appears to be unable to give consent or become unconscious and they have told us where they are, allowing us to alert emergency services.
- if a user shares information (such as location) which identifies a child or vulnerable adult who is at risk of serious harm
- A user threatens the safety of the CALM staff including helpline staff or the delivery of our service or any other third person about whom the user makes specific threats of harm.
Storage and retention of personal data
To protect the vital interests of helpline users the personal information provided in a cause for concern situation is recorded by CALM’s helpline partners with date and emergency services log numbers and stored securely. This may include keeping a transcript of a user’s webchat) It is kept for seven years to allow reference should this be required in due course because of police investigation following a death or to recognise a user’s repeated calls for assistance.
Collection of non-personal/anonymised data
Collecting anonymised data
CALM’s priority is to provide a quality service to our users. This does require continual monitoring of the service. Monitoring records are entirely anonymous. We do not record or keep information for monitoring purposes that may identify a user. Where possible the age band, gender, location by region and general circumstance (topics of the call/chat) and the users emotional state is recorded. This is statistical data, primarily in a numerical format, and is stored in a secure database held on a secure server.
Sharing anonymised data
Anonymised data may be shared with trusted partners of CALM for the benefit of improving and developing the service. This includes funders and those involved in the development of CALM services. It is a legal requirement for all UK Charities (including CALM and our funders) to demonstrate that funds have been spent on charitable purposes. Anonymised data is used to measure our impact and outcomes. It will never contain personal or identifying data. This data is only used for the benefit of CALM’s work and is never shared or sold for commercial use.
Recording calls and webchats
Audio of live calls is not recorded. Webchat transcripts are recorded and stored securely in the circumstance where the webchat contains no identifying details. Webchats containing identifying details are not stored and will be deleted within 30 days unless it is kept as part of a cause for concern situation as noted above.
Anonymous webchat transcripts that are saved are stored on a secure server. They may be transferred to partner organisations in the legitimate business interest of CALM. Extracts may be shared with CALM staff and funders. The transcripts may be used to aid in the development of CALM services and is never sold or shared for commercial use.
Access to Services
Calls and webchats identified by workers as originating from outside of the UK will result in workers signposting users to other services in their own countries if practical. The CALM helpline discourages on going dependency and so aims to limit contact with users to a maximum of one time per evening. This is not an ongoing arrangement and users attempting to access the service more frequently, except in cases of emergency or extreme distress will be discouraged from ongoing use of the service. Whilst a level of abusive language is accepted, individual workers may ask a user to desist if the language if they find the language extreme and unacceptable. The worker may then end the contact.
Potential charges for the service that CALM are not able to control
CALM does not charge for the use of this service and calls should be free from all UK landline and mobile phones. The webchat is free to use unless accessed from a paid for, public internet facility. Please be aware that if you are using the webchat service on mobile data, (e.g. via a mobile device or through tethering) charges may be incurred from mobile network providers. The telephone number will not appear on itemised bills but may appear on a phone’s recently dialled numbers which can be cleared by the user if they are concerned about this being seen.
The CALM helpline phone number can be used by users with speech or hearing difficulties via the Typetalk Service. Language translation services are available during calls via Capita Translation Services.
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) you have a number of rights with regards to your personal data which is only obtained in the situations outlined above regarding a cause for concern situation. You have the right to request from us access to and rectification or erasure of your personal data, the right to restrict processing, object to processing as well as in certain circumstances the right to data portability. If you have any concerns as to how your data is processed you can contact CALM, at [email protected] or 020 3697 9331.
For more information please see CALM’s privacy statement.
Making a complaint
If you wish to make a formal complaint about the helpline you can contact [email protected] or write to CALM, PO Box 68766, London, SE1P 4JZ. In order to respond to a complaint, it is necessary to know the name and contact details of the user. In these circumstances, personal data collected will be managed in line with CALM’s privacy statement.