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What is confidentiality?

Meic is a confidential service. Let’s talk about exactly what that means.

What does confidentiality mean?

Confidentiality means that we won’t tell anyone else what you’ve said.

It’s important to be able to talk about what’s going on in your life knowing it won’t be passed on to anyone else. Meic advisers understand this, and are here to support you.

When you contact Meic, what you tell us won’t be passed on to any other person or organisation outside of Meic unless you want it to. Sometimes the helpline adviser you are talking with may need to discuss what you’ve said with a colleague to make sure we give you the best help we possibly can.

Is Meic always confidential?

Meic is almost always confidential. There are rare occasions when we are required to tell someone what you have told us. We would only need to do or say something if:

You are under 18 and:

  • You ask us to
  • We believe your life or someone else’s life is in danger
  • You are being hurt by someone or might be hurt by someone (this is called significant harm)
  • You tell us that another child or young person is being hurt
  • You tell us that you are seriously harming another person
  • You tell us you, or someone else, has committed a serious crime (such as murder or terrorism)

You are over 18 and:

  • You tell us about a child or young person who is at risk of harm
  • You are in a life threatening situation (in immediate danger)
  • You tell us that you,  or someone else,  has committed a serious crime (such as murder or terrorism)

When do we tell someone what you have told us (break confidentiality)?

Breaking confidentiality is a difficult decision for the Meic helpline adviser advocates and there are lots of things to consider. One of the main factors in deciding whether to tell someone else depends on how things develop during your conversation. If at any point during your conversation you tell us that you are going to act on suicidal feelings, you or someone else is unsafe, or we believe you will be in danger when you end the conversation, then we have to tell someone else to help protect you or another person.

What happens when we tell someone what you have told us (break confidentiality)?

We will pass on any details that you have given to us to people who will be able to get you the help you need.

For example:

  • We may need to contact the police and get an ambulance to you if you are attempting suicide.
  • We may need to contact Social Services (they are a government organisation who help children, adults and families and put support in place to keep children safe) so that they can help to protect you.

We understand it is sometimes hard to tell someone what is happening to you and that you might feel scared to talk to other people about your situation. You might be worried about getting into trouble or about other people getting into trouble (your family or friends) and that by telling someone it will be your fault if this happens.

We are here to support you through this and to make sure your views are listened to. We want to help you feel safe.

Whenever we contact other organisations like the police or Social Services we will stay with you on text, IM or the phone, if you want us to, to let you know what is happening and to answer any questions you have.

If we have to take action to protect you or someone else we will always tell you what we are doing and answer any questions you might have.

If you have any questions about confidentiality you can ask the Meic helpline adviser advocate at the beginning of your call, text, email or online chat.