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988 Lifeline SC Crisis Services Policy

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Before we get started, here is important information about the 988 Lifeline SC:

 

  • The Website https://www.988sc.org (“the “Site” or the “Website”) is owned and operated by Mental Health America of Greenville County (“MHAGC” or “we” or “us” or “our”)

 

  • We are a crisis and suicide hotline, not a professional mental health service. We provide free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the United States, via telephone, chat and text (SMS), (collectively and individually our “Service”, “Services”, “Crisis Services”). Our Services are provided by well-trained peer volunteers offering information, referral resources, and support. These Services are not a substitute for diagnosis, treatment, or a therapist-client relationship.

 

  • We care about your privacy. We will not ask you to provide any identifying information. But, if you call or text us, we will see your phone number.  If you communicate with us via chat, we will see your IP address and Internet Service Provider. If we believe that you are at imminent risk of harm, we may notify emergency services or law enforcement.

 

  • We are a free Service. As such, we can limit your access to our Services for any reason.

 

  • You are responsible for your decisions and their consequences. We cannot guarantee the information and resources we provide.

 

  • You need to be 13 years of age or older to connect with 988 Lifeline SC.

 

  • By continuing to access 988 Lifeline SC Services you agree to the Crisis Services Policy below in its entirety.

 

No Professional Advice; No Substitute for Professional Advice

THE INFORMATION AND SUPPORT PROVIDED THROUGH THE 988 LIFELINE SC SERVICES IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND JUDGMENT OF QUALIFIED PSYCHIATRISTS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, PHYSICIANS AND HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.  YOU HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT THE 988 LIFELINE SC SERVICE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PRACTICE OF ANY PSYCHIATRIC, MEDICAL, NURSING OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL HEALTH CARE ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.  YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TALK TO YOUR MENTAL OR PHYSICAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR SPECIFIC GUIDELINES AND INSTRUCTIONS, INCLUDING THOSE RELATED TO DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF PSYCHIATRIC OR MEDICAL CONDITIONS.  IN PROVIDING THE 988 LIFELINE SC SERVICES, WE ARE IN NO WAY REPRESENTING OR WARRANTING THAT SUCH SERVICES ARE APPLICABLE OR APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR NEEDS AND/OR CONDITION.  IF YOU HAVE OR SUSPECT THAT YOU HAVE A PSYCHIATRIC OR MEDICAL PROBLEM OR CONDITION, PLEASE CONTACT A QUALIFIED MENTAL OR PHYSICAL HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL IMMEDIATELY.  IF YOU ARE IN THE UNITED STATES AND ARE EXPERIENCING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, PLEASE CALL 911 OR CALL FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP ON THE NEAREST TELEPHONE.

 

Rules of Use; Acceptable Use Policy

You can access and use the 988 Lifeline SC Services without being asked to provide us with any identifying information.  However, if you contact us by phone, we will collect – or may ask that you provide us – with your phone number. If you call or text us, we will see your phone number.  If you communicate with us via chat, we will see your IP address and Internet Service Provider. If we believe that you are at imminent risk of harm, we may notify emergency services or law enforcement.

 

You agree to use the 988 Lifeline SC Services only for lawful and legitimate purposes, in accordance with these Terms of Use.  You agree not to:

  • violate any applicable federal, state, local, or international law or regulation;

 

  • prank call, chat, or text us. Our Crisis Services are available to people who may be in crisis, and pranks take time away from others who may really need help. “Swatting” or making similar malicious prank calls, chats, or texts is illegal, and we may report this to the authorities;

 

  • threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately treat the 988 Lifeline SC, its employees, partners, agents, contractors, volunteers, or others;

 

  • impersonate or attempt to impersonate another person, whether famous or otherwise;

 

  • communicate with, or attempt to identify, seek out, or communicate with, the 988 Lifeline SC staff outside of, or apart from, the 988 Lifeline SC Services;

 

  • send, in chat any images, videos, or any other identifying information of any person except yourself

 

  • embed material in chat or text messages using HTML, whether images, sound, or video;

 

  • send, in chat or text messages, any images, videos, or links to any other websites;

 

  • attempt to interfere with the proper working of our Crisis Services.

No Guarantee as To Access

We reserve the right to determine the length of any 988 Lifeline SC Session. Additionally, MHAGC – and our 988 Lifeline SC staff – reserve the right to terminate your chat/text/phone session, or access to the 988 Lifeline SC Services at any time, for any reason, including i) if we believe that you would be better served by a different treatment modality, or ii) for violating the acceptable use guideline, or iii) in order to be able service/respond to other users, or iv) for any other reason.

 

International Transfers

We are based in the United States. Use of our Services from outside the United States is not permitted. While we do not actively service or target international users, if you are an international user, the information you submit to us and that we automatically collect as a result of your using the Website or our Services will be transferred to the United States, where the privacy and data protection rules may differ from those in your country.

 

General Disclaimer; Acknowledgment

The information and treatment resources are provided by the 988 Lifeline SC as a convenience to you, but MHAGC makes no warranty or guarantee about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the 988 Lifeline SC Services.  MHAGC is not responsible for any decisions, or results of the decisions that are made, in response to or after your participation in the 988 Lifeline SC session.  You hereby assume all risks of using the 988 Lifeline SC Services.  Neither MHAGC nor any of our employees, staff, volunteers, or agents will be or is responsible for your use of the 988 Lifeline SC Services and any decisions, or results of the decisions that you make – this includes whether you choose to seek or not seek professional care, or to modify or terminate any specific treatment or activity.

 

ALL 988 LIFELINE SC SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” OR “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS, AND MHAGC EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE 988 LIFELINE SC SERVICES, WHETHER IMPLIED, EXPRESS, OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, QUIET ENJOYMENT AND ACCURACY. MHAGC MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT THE 988 LIFELINE SC SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED.

Limitation of Liability

In addition to the above warranty disclaimers, YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT IN NO EVENT WILL MHAGC AND ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS WILL BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING, PERSONAL INJURY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NEGLIGENCE OR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE) OR OTHERWISE, ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH USE OF THE 988 LIFELINE SC SERVICES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY DAMAGES CAUSED BY OR RESULTING FROM RELIANCE BY YOU ON ANY INFORMATION OR GUIDANCE PROVIDED BY MHAGC, EVEN IF MHAGC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITIES OF THOSE DAMAGES. YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF THE 988 LIFELINE SC IS PREDICATED UPON YOUR WAIVER OF ANY RIGHT TO SUE MHAGC AND ITS AFFILIATES DIRECTLY OR TO PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION SUIT FOR ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGES RESULTING FROM YOUR USE OF THE 988 LIFELINE SC.

 

CERTAIN STATE LAWS DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS ON IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN DAMAGES. IF THESE LAWS APPLY TO YOU, SOME OR ALL OF THE ABOVE DISCLAIMERS, EXCLUSIONS, OR LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU, AND YOU MIGHT HAVE ADDITIONAL RIGHTS.

 

Disclosures to Third Parties

While we strive to keep all conversations, texts and chats confidential, there are instances in which we may disclose certain information to third parties (in addition to other permitted disclosures described in our Privacy Policy or this Crisis Services Policy). For example, if a staff member you are communicating with believes you are at imminent risk of death or serious injury – either from yourself or others – we may alert law enforcement, emergency services or other resources.

 

Abuse and Imminent Threat Reports. If your communications indicate that a minor or vulnerable dependent adult has been or is currently being subjected to emotional or physical abuse or neglect, we may report this to the applicable state agency or other authority, which may include disclosing information relating to the particular situation, and may include personal or sensitive information you disclose to us.

 

We may also make a report to an appropriate party, and make any disclosures we reasonably believe necessary, to prevent another person’s death or serious injury.

 

Unless otherwise required by applicable law or in response to a subpoena that we reasonably believe is valid, we will not disclose personal or sensitive information to parents, legal guardians, or other individuals. Our 988 Lifeline SC Specialists are located in multiple states in the United States; while all of our Specialists are trained, they are not working as licensed mental health workers and may not be trained in your state’s law. Other state laws may apply to your communications, and those state laws may not protect your communications to the same degree, or in the same way, as the laws of your state.

 

Research and Innovation. We may use information, including the content of conversations occurring within Crisis Services, to create, or permit a third-party researcher or partner to create aggregate information, that does not include names or other personal identifiers, for the purpose of promoting suicide prevention research and the advancement of crisis intervention, and to produce statistics and metrics that will help us and others better understand and analyze the impact of our Crisis Services. We may share aggregated, non-personally identifiable information and content of conversations occurring through the Crisis Services, with our partners, researchers, or third parties for these purposes. only; we will never share personal information for commercial purposes. We may also publicly publish the results of our research efforts, including statistics and metrics, such as in research reports and other briefs, and otherwise provide information about our innovation efforts and use of our Services. Individual users will not be linked or identified by sharing this aggregate information.

 

Children Under 13 Years of Age

The use of the 988 Lifeline SC Services is intended solely for users who are 13 years of age or older, and any use of the 988 Lifeline SC Services by anyone under 13 is unauthorized.

 

Privacy and Security

We employ commercially reasonable security controls to protect the 988 Lifeline SC Website from unauthorized intrusion.  However, we cannot guarantee that the 988 Lifeline SC Services will be protected from intruders or interceptors.  You hereby acknowledge and understand that the use of the 988 Lifeline SC Services – and submission of any information – is at your own risk.  You agree that MHAGC has no liability regarding unauthorized access to your 988 Lifeline SC communications.

With respect to SMS (text) and chat: If a user elects to use our text messaging service to receive resource or other information, we will ask for their phone number. Any incoming text message from a user will contain the user’s phone number. Both chat and text Services are facilitated by the National 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (the “National Lifeline”) and are subject to their Crisis Services Policy or policies as well. The confidentiality and security of chats are ensured through the National Lifeline’s chat and text software provider. All of your communications are securely encrypted from your computer to ours.

 

General Legal Terms

This 988 Lifeline SC Services Crisis Services Policy also incorporates MHAGC’s https://www.988sc.org Website Terms of Use and Privacy Policy here by reference. To the extent there is a conflict between the terms in these 988 Lifeline SC Terms of Use and any other terms, these 988 Lifeline SC Services Terms of Use will govern to the extent of the conflict, solely relating to such 988 Lifeline SC Services.

 

Jurisdiction; No Class Action

You agree that the statutes and laws of the State of South Carolina, without regard to principles of conflicts of law in South Carolina or elsewhere, shall apply to all matters arising from or relating to use of the 988 Lifeline SC Services. You and MHAGC also agree and hereby submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue of the state and/or federal courts located closest in proximity to the MHAGC’s Office in Greenville, South Carolina should any matter arise related to MHAGC.

 

YOU AND MHAGC AGREE THAT ANY PROCEEDINGS TO RESOLVE OR LITIGATE ANY DISPUTE WILL BE CONDUCTED SOLELY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS, AND THAT NEITHER YOU NOR MHAGC WILL SEEK TO HAVE ANY DISPUTE HEARD AS A CLASS ACTION, A REPRESENTATIVE ACTION, A COLLECTIVE ACTION, A PRIVATE ATTORNEY-GENERAL ACTION, OR IN ANY PROCEEDING IN WHICH YOU OR MHAGC ACTS OR PROPOSES TO ACT IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY.  YOU AND MHAGC FURTHER AGREE THAT NO PROCEEDING WILL BE JOINED, CONSOLIDATED, OR COMBINED WITH ANOTHER PROCEEDING WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF YOU, MHAGC, AND ALL PARTIES TO ANY SUCH PROCEEDING.

 

Miscellaneous

This Crisis Services Policy constitute the entire agreement between you and MHAGC and govern your use of the 988 Lifeline SC Services, superseding any prior agreements between you and MHAGC. Failure by MHAGC to insist on strict performance of any of the terms and conditions of these Terms of Use will not operate as a waiver by MHAGC of that or any subsequent default or failure of performance. We reserve the right to limit the availability of the 988 Lifeline SC Services to any person, geographic area, or jurisdiction, at any time and in our sole discretion, and to limit the Service or other features that the 988 Lifeline SC provides. If any provision (or part thereof) contained in this Crisis Services Policy is determined to be void, invalid, or otherwise unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction or on account of a conflict with an applicable government regulation, such determination shall not affect the remaining provisions (or parts thereof) contained herein and the illegal, invalid, or unenforceable clause shall be modified in compliance with applicable law in a manner that most closely matches the intent of the original language. No joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and MHAGC as a result of these Terms of Use or your use of the 988 Lifeline SC. Headings herein are for convenience only.

 

Interpretation of Crisis Services Policy

The terms “or” and “including” and similar terms will be interpreted non-exclusively to mean “and/or” or “including, but not limited to” or the equivalent, respectively.

 

 

Crisis Services Policy: Last updated July 26, 2022