TERMS OF SERVICE

 

Scope; Acceptance of Terms

At HopeLine (“HopeLine”, “we”, or “us”), our mission is to support people and save lives during times of crisis through caring, confidential conversations. We’re here to provide listening, collaborative problem solving, and referrals to community resources where appropriate.

Before using or accessing our Crisis Line or TextLine (the “Services”), please read the following. By accessing or using our Services you agree to these Terms of Service (the “Terms of Service”) and our privacy policy (the “Privacy Policy” and together with the Terms of Service, these “Terms”) described below.

These Terms govern your access and use of our Services, describe what information we collect through our Services, and explains how we use, transfer, and store your information after we collect it. If you don’t agree to these Terms, you may not engage with our Services, if you would like to discuss these Services please contact HopeLine business office at 919-832-3326.

Nature of the Services

Our Services are intended to support crisis intervention and suicide prevention within our community, and to empower our callers and texters with information and emotional support. However, please remember that use of our Services does not constitute a therapist-client relationship, a therapist-patient relationship, a doctor-patient relationship, or any other sort of legally confidential relationships. Our services are not meant to stand in for professional medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric care, or therapy of any kind. If you believe you are experiencing an emergency of any kind and require assistance, you should immediately call 911.

Additionally, to protect the privacy and safety of our staff and volunteers, you agree to not communicate with our volunteers or crisis line staff outside of the Services.

Risks, Use of Services

You assume all risk for use of the Services. Neither HopeLine nor any of our staff or volunteers shall have liability for actions taken by you or a third party during, after, or as a result of your use of the Services, or not taken by you or a third party, or the unavailability of the Services, and you agree to indemnify and hold us harmless for damages arising out of your use of the Services, your breach of these Terms, your violation of the law, claims asserted by third parties that you are in breach of these Terms or information provided by you through HopeLine.

The Services are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. HopeLine does the best it can to provide our services to as many people as possible, but we can’t make guarantees related to when and how our services will be available. Without limiting the above, HopeLine makes no warranty that we will meet your requirements; be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free; or meet your expectations.

Prohibited Uses; Right to Terminate Access

You may use our Services only for lawful purposes and in accordance with these Terms. You agree not to use the Services:

  • In any way that violates any federal, state, local and international law or regulation;

  • To threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately abuse HopeLine or its staff or volunteers;

  • To send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any content which does not comply with these Terms;

  • To “spam,” gather or attempting to gather personal information belonging to users or others for the purposes of spamming, marketing, selling to third parties, or otherwise abusing HopeLine or its services;

  • To impersonate or attempt to impersonate another person or entity;

  • To otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of HopeLine.

 

HopeLine reserves the right to terminate your access to our Services at any point if you violate these Terms. HopeLine may terminate your access unilaterally, or might adjust your access if we determine that you’d be better served by a different kind of support. HopeLine reserves the right to terminate our Services or your access to them for any other reason at our sole discretion.

Collection and Use of Personally Identifiable Information

“Personally Identifiable Information” is data that can be used to uniquely identify you, including full name or address. During your use of HopeLine’s Services, you may be asked but never required to voluntarily provide Personally Identifiable Information, including your name or home address. We will only ask you for this information if we believe it would help us to better serve you. While we may collect Personally Identifiable Information, we will not share it with any third parties except as noted in this Privacy Policy.

HopeLine uses the information collected about you to improve our Services to you, including fulfilling your requests, including but not limited to referrals to other services.

How We Use Your Personally Identifiable Information

We operate our Services in conjunction with volunteer and staff crisis counselors. Any information, including Personally Identifiable Information, that you share during your use of our Services may be viewed by HopeLine staff or volunteers for quality control, to contact emergency services in the event of a risk to self or others, or to better assist you with your crisis.

Disclosures to Third Parties

In rare cases when a volunteer or staff crisis counselor believes that your call or text indicates that you are at imminent risk of death or serious injury (e.g. if you have a suicidal thought, plan, access to means, and an imminent timeline), or if we believe that disclosure is necessary to prevent a person’s death or serious injury, we may contact law enforcement, state authorities, or emergency services. We know that this is disruptive and often traumatic, so we will not do this unless we think it absolutely necessary, and we will always be honest with you about doing so. Our volunteer or staff crisis counselors will always try to work with you to come up with a safety contract before calling emergency services, unless that increases the imminent risk you are facing. Please note that according to guidelines, simply saying “I’m feeling suicidal” does not necessarily mean that we will send someone.

If the content of your call or text leads us to suspect that you are a victim of emotional/physical abuse or neglect and you are 17 years of age or younger, we may ask you for certain Personally Identifiable Information to help us file any required report with an appropriate state authority. You are not required to share this information with us.

Additionally, we may disclose Personally Identifiable Information we collect from you to third parties if we believe such disclosure is necessary: to comply with the law or in response to a subpoena, court order, government request, or other legal process; to protect the interested, rights, safety, or property of HopeLine and its volunteers or staff; to enforce our Terms; to address fraud, security, technical issues, or to operate the Services or its infrastructure properly.

Outside Referrals

Sometimes, it is in your best interest that HopeLine provides you with a referral to another hotline, program, or resource in your area. We will pass along their contact information to you, but we will not give them your contact information. It is always your choice if you want to use the provided referral. We will not act as a liaison between you and other services. HopeLine cannot always guarantee the services of a provided referral, and responsibility and discretion of use is deferred back to the caller or texter when a referral has been provided.

Children Under 13 Years of Age

As a not-for-profit organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, HopeLine is exempt from compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998. Despite this, we take the privacy of children seriously and encourage users and their parents to review our Terms to understand what information may be collected.

Governing Law; International Users

These Terms and the provision of the Services are governed solely by, and shall be interpreted according to the laws of the State of North Carolina. Our Services are operated in the United States. If you are located outside of the United States, please be aware that any information you provide will be collected in or transferred to the Unites States.

Notice of Nondiscrimination Rights and Protections to Beneficiaries

HopeLine operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. No person shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin (including limited English proficiency), disability, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any of our programs. 

To file a complaint of discrimination, write Office of Civil Rights, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (OCR), 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531 or call 202-307-0690 (Voice) or 202-307-2027 (TDD/TTY). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may also contact OCR through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY), 877-877-8982 (Speech) or 800-845-6136 (Spanish). 

© 2020 by HopeLine