Terms & Conditions

Online Counselling Appointments

Who we are

Engender Equality offers counselling for people affected by family violence in Hobart, Launceston and North West of Tasmania and in outreach locations in outlying and surrounding areas of these locations.

Our Online Counselling Service

Engender Equality offers video based counselling appointments via “Skype” for clients who are either living in remote parts of Tasmania or whom have mobility issues which prevent their ability to access one of our counselling or outreach locations.

Your Safety

Engender Equality is not a crisis service and this includes our online counselling service. If you are in an unsafe environment we urge you to call Police or Medical emergency help before accessing our services.

During your first session with your counsellor an emergency contact plan will be created for any crisis and emergency support you may need.

You are entitled to enjoy confidentiality and privacy when engaging with one of our counsellors.

You are entitled to receive assistance from us in times of crisis, sometimes you may require help which we cannot give you, such as medical and legal advice and we will refer you to other providers who may assist you.

If you are in crisis

If you require crisis support please contact Family Violence Counselling and Support Service on 1800 608 122.

If you are at risk of or fearful of harm from family violence or you are in immediate danger, call 000.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, the following services are available 24 hours a day:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Tasmanian Mental Health Service Helpline 1800 332 388
  • Police or ambulance 000

Exclusions

Online counselling services will not be offered to:

1.People who are assessed as having a medium to high risk of suicide and/or recent suicide attempt.

2.Persons suffering severe mental health disorders or suspected severe disorders, we will refer you to an appropriate service.

3.Persons who are currently living in unsafe environments.

Clients presenting with suicidal and severe mental health disorders will be referred to their closest mental health team or medical practitioner and clients living in unsafe environments will be given contact details for crisis support.

If the counsellor assesses at any point during the counselling process that there are concerns regarding your access to online counselling support they will discuss this with you and make appropriate referrals and/or crisis management.

Security

Engender Equality will always provide your online counselling from a private room at one of our locations. We cannot offer online counselling to you if you access our service from a wireless internet hotspot or public computer, we can only offer our service to users on a private computer.

Skype

Engender Equality is not responsible for the Skype privacy and security settings on the computer you use to access our online counselling support.

Some points to note are that:

  • all Skype-to-Skype voice, video, file transfers and instant messages are encrypted. This protects you from potential eavesdropping by malicious users.
  • if you make a call from Skype to mobile and landline phones, the part of your call that takes place over the PSTN (the ordinary phone network) is not encrypted.

For more information about privacy and security on Skype, visit:

Data collection

Engender Equality is committed to protecting your privacy and offering secure and confidential services. If you have any concerns you are welcome to use an alias (not your real name) when you speak with us. We encourage you to take whatever steps you need to, to feel safe and comfortable whilst accessing our services. To find out more, read our privacy information below:

We record data and store information according to Engender Equality’s Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy

Engender Equality recognises that any sensitive information, which has been disclosed to us, needs special care and protection. We are required by law, as detailed in the Privacy Act 1988 (“The Act”), to comply with a strict code of conduct to maintain the privacy of all personal information on record. This Privacy Policy complies with the privacy principles set out in the Act and explains how we apply them in practice.

Personal and sensitive Information

We may collect the following personal and sensitive information and undertake to hold it in a secure manner.

  • Name and title
  • Full contact details
  • Personal opinions and comments on matters held on record
  • And other documentary information

Collection

This information may be collected directly from correspondence, phone calls and e-mails.

Engender Equality undertakes to maintain a high quality of data on record and to update that information as appropriate to the function it serves. Additional personal information will only be collected if necessary to maintaining a high standard of service to members and the community at large, and the individuals involved will be consulted by the means specified in the Act. Additional sensitive information as defined in the Act, will only be collected with the consent of individuals involved and in accordance with the Act.

Disclosure

The information will only be used within Engender Equality for the purpose for which it was collected and in accordance with the Act. Engender Equality will not disclose to a third party, any personal or sensitive information without written consent of the individual concerned.

In the event of a formal ethical complaint against an individual pertaining to conduct, competency or breaches of the law, Engender Equality may be obliged to disclose personal information to an appropriate third party in accordance with the Act.

Security of Information

The entire process of collection, storage, transfer and use of personal information will be undertaken in a secure manner such that it fully protects all personal and sensitive information. On the cessation of connection with Engender Equality, the personal information will be held securely for as long as it is prudent and disposed of appropriately when the information is no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected and in a manner specified by the Act.

Access and Correction

Individuals are entitled to access their own personal and sensitive information held by Engender Equality. Individuals are also entitled to change incorrect or out of date information. The request for access to personal information must be made in writing and the request will be processed in accordance with the Act.

Anonymity

Where lawful and practical, Engender Equality will offer the option for anonymity when providing personal information in the process of transacting Engender Equality services.

Identifiers

Engender Equality will not use identifiers assigned by government bodies and agencies. Many health-related practitioners/services are required to use Government identifiers like Medicare numbers, Centrelink reference numbers, drivers license or passport numbers to ID people.

How to make a complaint about breach of privacy

We will take all due care to make sure that breaches of privacy will not occur but if you do have a complaint it is very important that you let us know. Please contact Engender Equality directly.

Viruses

While Engender Equality will take all reasonable care to keep their computers virus-free, we accept no liability for the transfer of viruses or other virus behaviours which are outside our control.

Access issues

Engender Equality aims to provide online counselling at the agreed time, however at times we may not be able to connect due to computer maintenance, telecommunication supply issues or other malfunctions. If there is a delay or disruption to our connection during a counselling session, we can provide support via phone on (03) 6278 9090. Otherwise, we recommend you contact:

  • another service as agreed during your first appointment
  • the Family Violence Counselling and Support Service on 1800 608 122 (open until midnight)
  • 1800 RESPECT (open all hours).

Prohibited

While accessing Engender Equality’s online counselling services, you must not:

  • abuse, harass, threaten, defame or violate the rights of others – this includes rights relating
  • to privacy and publicity
  • transmit, email, publish or disseminate any unlawful, obscene, defamatory, indecent or
  • offensive material
  • engage in any activity for commercial gain, including marketing, advertising or promoting
  • goods and services, data mining or using other online data collection devices
  • represent yourself or an organisation falsely, except by use of an alias
  • send spam or unsolicited emails
  • record, screenshot or transmit any element of the phone or internet counselling session
  • transmit by any electronic means (post or link to) information that contains viruses, Trojans, worms or any item designed to destroy the functionality of another computer system’s
  • software or hardware or to use the other computer system for improper purposes.

The breach of any of the above will result in termination of counselling support agreement and referral to authorities if appropriate.

Client Records Policy

Please see our client record policy below.

2.06 Client Records Policy