Terms of Service: Eligibility
To access SuicideLine Victoria online counselling, you will need to be:
- Considering suicide or self-harm, bereaved by suicide, or concerned about someone who may be at risk
- For online chat you must be 15 years or over
- For video chat you must be 18 years or over
- Currently residing in Victoria.
Please note that SuicideLine Victoria online counselling is not a crisis service.
If you need to contact someone urgently, please call: 1300 651 251
If your situation is life threatening, please call: 000 to access emergency services.
Privacy and security
SuicideLine Victoria maintains confidentiality of all client telephone and online counselling services, except under specific circumstances where we are mandated to disclose information:
- it is evident that you, an identifiable third party (another person) or the general public may be at imminent or immediate risk of serious harm or injury
- it is revealed that a criminal act under the Commonwealth or State law has been committed; and
- we have a legal obligation to disclose information, such as a court order.
SuicideLine Victoria complies with privacy law relating to the management of personal information. The SuicideLine Victoria service protects personal information during transmission by using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. All data is stored on a secure server. Despite these safeguards, the internet is not a completely secure or private environment and, while unlikely, it is possible for online security to be breached. For further information about protecting yourself online, please see the Stay Smart Online website.
Video counselling sessions are recorded by SuicideLine Victoria for training, coaching and quality assurance purposes or to evaluate the service provided by SuicideLine Victoria. Your SuicideLine Victoria counsellor will seek your consent to recording at the beginning of each video counselling session.
Your video counselling session will be stored for the period of time required under Australian law. Please read the Suicide Call Back Service privacy statement in full.
SuicideLine Victoria is not able to answer technical or IT questions. SuicideLine Victoria cannot guarantee that the technology used to deliver online counselling will always be available, function as intended or operate without interruption. In the event of a technical failure, the counsellor will work with you to try and maintain the continuity of the video chat counselling session as much as possible given the limitations.
In order to access SuicideLine Victoria video chat counselling, you will need to be a registered Skype™ user and have access to a webcam. More information about Skype™ can be found on the Skype website.
Use of electronic communications
You must not forward email messages or other electronic communications from SuicideLine Victoria online counselling service and/or its counsellors to other persons, except in situations where this has been agreed in advance by SuicideLine Victoria, and is done with written permission. You may not use advice or information provided by SuicideLine Victoria out of context, or pass on the advice to another person or organisation.
Prohibition against recording video counselling sessions
The video counselling session is for the benefit of the registered user only. You must not record the video counselling session, copy it, distribute it or make any part of it available to any to other person.
Online counselling is only one form of counselling and may not be appropriate for all people. You should consider other options which might suit your personal needs, such as face to face or telephone counselling.
You may consider options other than online counselling if:
- You are at risk of self-harm
- You may be at risk of harm from another if the details of the counselling conversation became known
- You have a diagnosed mental health issue
- You do not feel comfortable using written words to express yourself.
Any decisions you make and any action you take as a consequence of your online counselling session is at your own risk and is your responsibility. SuicideLine Victoria does not accept any liability or responsibility for any loss, damage, and/or injury suffered, nor for any action or inaction taken by you.
If your counsellor identifies concerns that you are at risk of harming yourself or others, they or another SuicideLine Victoria counsellor will speak with you about this. In most circumstances, SuicideLine Victoria will follow the process below:
- Request details such as your location and telephone number so that a counsellor may provide support and/or practical assistance.
- SuicideLine Victoria may also utilise the contact collated once an online counselling session has started to call you to provide this support (IP address and name).
- If SuicideLine Victoria is unable to contact you via phone, the counsellor will continue to work with you online and attempt to obtain as much relevant information as possible. They will work with you to help keep you safe, and provide referrals to face-to face and local services.
- If you chose not to provide SuicideLine Victoria with information, we may be unable to follow up in the event of an emergency, and will be limited in the amount of practical assistance we can provide.
- In the event that your safety cannot be assured, SuicideLine Victoria may choose to alert local emergency services in efforts to protect your safety or the safety of others.
Please note that if you attempt to harm yourself during the course of your video counselling session, your counsellor will terminate the session and contact emergency services.
Your physical surroundings
Your physical surroundings are important when participating in video counselling. Please ensure that at the time of your video counselling session:
- You are alone in a setting that affords privacy, preferably a room with the door closed.
- If applicable, you have made child-care arrangements for the duration of your counselling session.
- Others who may be around you at the time are aware that you require privacy and are not to be disturbed.
Please note that the SuicideLine Victoria does not offer couples’ counselling and your partner may not participate in the video counselling session with you.
Compliments, complaints and feedback
If you wish to give a compliment, make a complaint or comment about On the Line’s online counselling, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org