Privacy Policy

Rethink Mental Illness takes great care to preserve your privacy and safeguard any personal details you provide to us, whether on this website or by another means. This Policy explains how we collect and use your information.

By using our website or providing us with your personal information you are agreeing to this Policy. We update this Policy from time to time so please check it regularly. We will communicate changes as often as we can.

1. When will I need to provide my details?

The Gloucestershire Self Harm Helpline is an anonymous service. We provide support by email, phone, text or webchat. Correspondence between you and the Self Harm Helpline service will remain confidential.

We will ask a number of questions to help us collect data to monitor the service, evidence the need for the service and identify areas for service development and improvement. You do not have to answer these questions.

We will ask you to provide some demographic details such as – gender, age range, location (district) and ethnicity.

We also collect some other anonymous data from you such as:

  • are you contacting us for yourself or because you are supporting someone else?
  • if you have used mental health services before?
  • what you would have done if you had not used the helpline?
  • ratings of wellbeing before and after the support.

If we need to get you emergency services support you may agree to give us your exact location details, your name, address or phone number. In this case we will store this on our secure incident record and pass these details onto the emergency services or other agencies such as the Crisis Team. We will discuss this with you during the support session, so you know how this information will be used.

If you contact us and ask us to post you information such as our coping strategy booklet or leaflets for local services we will write this onto an envelope and not store this personal information anywhere.

2. Why do you need my details and how do you use them?

If you give us your personal details we may rely on your consent, a legal need or contract, or a ‘legitimate interest’ for different purposes.

We will always seek to get your consent for your personal identifiable data - details about your name, address or phone number. As the Gloucestershire Self Harm Helpline is an anonymous service, we will only hold your personal identifiable data if you have given us this in the event of allowing us to get you emergency services support or support from other services such as Crisis Team.

If you use the Helpline service we will keep professional records of the support we have given you, but these records are largely anonymous.

When dealing with your personal information we will at all times comply with the Data Protection Act 2018, and any other applicable legislation.

3. Do you pass my details to any other organisations or individuals?

We will never sell your data to another organisation.

In addition, if we ever need to send data to a third party, we will make sure the company we use has signed a data processing agreement with us, so that they are bound to take care of your data in the same way we do.

We may also share or disclose your personal information if we are required to do so by any law or court order. This is called a legal need.

There may be rare occasions where we have a serious concern for your well-being, safety or that of others. If we ask you to provide us with your contact details to get you help and you do not agree to provide this, we may make a decision to break your confidentiality. This is called a Duty of Care. We will then discuss the concerns with the emergency services, who do have the ability to trace the call, (not webchat) or text in order to get you help. We will always seek to inform you that we are going to do this unless you end the support before we are able to inform you of this.

4. How do you keep my information secure?

We will take precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or unauthorised alteration of personal information you give us. For example, our website does not store your personal information.

If you send us an email, we will reply to this. However, e-mail is not a fully secure means of communication, and whilst we do our utmost to keep our systems and communications protected we cannot guarantee this.

We make no representations about any other websites, and when you access any other website through a link on our website (including social media sites) you should understand that it is independent from us and that we have no control over that website or the way your personal information is collected through those websites.

Those websites may have their own privacy policies and we encourage you to look at those policies or contact the website operators directly to understand how your personal information is used.

5. How do you use cookies on this website? For information on how cookies are used on our website, please see our Cookie Policy.

Some uses of cookies (like helping you to fill out forms) may be replaced by ‘Local Storage’ in the coming years – we will update our Policy if we adopt this, to keep you informed. There are also new ‘E-Privacy’ regulations coming in 2019 which will inform more updates about electronic data.

6. How long will you keep my data?

We will keep data for only as long as it makes sense to do so. Legally we need to keep some records (financial or in relation to care services) in case there is a query. In general, we use a 6-year rule.

In most cases we won’t totally delete a record of you (see note below in the next section)

7. What if I don’t want you to use my details anymore?

Almost all of the data we hold about support provided is anonymous and does not contain any personal identifiable information, the exception to this would be where we have been given details by you in order to get you emergency services support.

If you don’t want us to hold your data at all anymore you can contact us to request this at

We have a duty to let you know that the best way for us to be sure we don’t contact you again is to minimise the data we hold (e.g. reduce it to name and last known address) and then ‘block’ those details from contact rather than delete them completely. It’s best practice (from the Information Commissioner’s Office) to hold ‘suppressed’ records rather than to delete completely, so that we can make sure we’re never able to accidentally acquire a person’s details again – that way we can recognise the address and prevent contact to it.

If you have a special reason for us to delete all record of you – just let us know, and of course we can do that.

8. Access rights

You have the right to request copies of certain of your personal information within our custody and control, and details of how we use that information. This is sometimes called a Subject Access Request. If you think any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, you may also request it is corrected. You also have a right, in certain circumstances, to require us to stop processing your personal information. In relation to all of these rights, please email us at

Please note that we will require proof of identity in order to carry this out and ask you the scope of the request you’re making, so that we can best help you within the applicable timeframe of one month (in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines).

In certain circumstances (for example where required or permitted by law) we might not be able to provide you with access to some of your personal information, but where appropriate we will notify you of the reasons for this.

9. Using countries outside of the EU

Our database has servers based in the USA, and our email software is based in the USA. All data is stored and transferred in accordance with current Data Protection regulations through contract.

Our Data Controller is Company Secretary, Caroline Cannar. Her contact details are or on FREEPOST Rethink London.

If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact us at

Please use these details to complain about Data Protection practices, and if we don’t resolve your issue to your satisfaction, you can approach The Information Commissioner’s Office on