Mindline Confidentiality

Bristol Mindline aims to offer a confidential service. We do not record calls, and our volunteers cannot see callers’ phone numbers, although we do take anonymous data to monitor trends for funding and quality control purposes. However, there are some circumstances in which information you disclose may need to be passed to another agency.

Calls to Mindline from anonymous numbers are blocked because there are some circumstances where our phone system needs to be able to identify your phone number.

Circumstances in which your number and information you disclose may need to be passed to another agency include:

  1. Any information disclosed which falls under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (e.g. bomb warning) is an exception to the rules of confidentiality. The content of the call and relevant information will be passed on immediately to the police.
  2. Inappropriate use of helpline: callers who are sexually inappropriate or threatening / aggressive, and those who deliberately misuse any of our policies and procedures, such as faking an emergency or asking us to unnecessarily call emergency services on their behalf. We may inform the Police or other mental health services as appropriate, and we reserve the right to ask our phone provider to block the number of abusive callers.
  3. Where we believe a child is currently at risk of physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect we will disclose information to the appropriate authorities.
  4. When a vulnerable adult is at risk of harm to themselves or others, or is in danger of a serious crime occurring to them, we will disclose information to the authorities if the caller offers / discloses sufficient identifying information.
  5. When a caller discloses having intention, a plan, and the means to cause significant physical harm to themselves or someone else, or has already done so, we will call the emergency services.

If a Mindline call handler flags an emergency situation such as the above, Mindline staff may listen in on the call, and may pass the caller’s number to emergency services. Mindline volunteers remain unable to see your number, even in an emergency situation.

Last Updated April 2023