Texting and Live Chat terms of service and privacy statement

IF YOU ARE IN DANGER OR NEED EMERGENCY HELP, CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

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Terms of service

Scope

Acceptance of terms and conditions

The goal of this service provided by York Support Services Network (YSSN) through it’s Community Crisis Response Service, 1-855-310-COPE (2673), (the “Service”) is to help people in crisis. We are here to help you move from a “crisis” state to a “calm” state, and we try to help equip you with tools to move yourself from “crisis” to “calm” if you face a crisis in the future.

Before using or accessing the Service, please read the following. By accessing or using the Service you agree to these Terms of Service (the “Terms of Service”) and the privacy statement (the “Privacy statement” and together with the Terms of Service, these “Terms”) described below. These Terms govern your access and use of the Service. You may contact YSSN about these terms at contact@yssn.ca. If you do not agree to these Terms, you may not use the Service. If you no longer wish to receive messages, you may opt out at any time by texting the word STOP.

Prior to accessing the Service, please ensure that you are in a safe place from which to do so. Texting and driving is illegal in the Province of Ontario and many other jurisdictions, and YSSN encourages Service users to refrain from using the Service while operating a vehicle.

Survey

At the end of your conversation, you may receive a link to take a survey. This is to help us learn from you and improve our service. Some policies surrounding the survey:

  1. You can skip questions.
  2. Responses are anonymous.
  3. If you leave a note for your Crisis Responder, we’ll share it with them! Your note might also be used for marketing and training to show the impact of the Service.

Your participation in this survey is optional and your participation will not impact your ability to access the Service in the future.

Nature and use of information provided through the service

The purpose of the Service is to assist individuals who are in crisis. We are here to help in a professional and clinical matter, but we will not be able to provide you with medical or legal advice. If you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or 911.

Your interaction with the Service is voluntary, and you can choose to stop communicating with us at any time.

During your communication with the Service, you may disclose personal information to us. This information will be kept confidential, subject to legal limits, and in accordance with our Privacy Notice, which you can find below.

Please note that if you are under age 16, we have a legal obligation to report abuse, neglect, or risk of harm to the appropriate authorities if you disclose this during your interaction with the Service.

Risks, use of service

Neither the Service, nor YSSN are responsible for any of the decisions that you make while, as a result of, or after using the Service. By using the Service, you agree to assume all risk for use of the Service, and understand that YSSN will not have any liability for your actions that result from your use of the service, or from the unavailability of the Service.

The service is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. This means that YSSN does not guarantee that the Service will always be available nor that the Service will meet your requirements and expectations at all times. By signing up for the Service, you understand and acknowledge the foregoing.

Prohibited uses

Right to terminate access

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

  • to impersonate or attempt to impersonate another person or entity; or
  • to engage in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits anyone’s use or enjoyment of the Services, or which, as determined by us, may harm YSSN or users of the Services or expose them to liability; or
  • to threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately abuse YSSN, its employees, partners, agents, subcontractors, Crisis responders, or others;
  • in any way that violates any applicable federal, provincial, local and international law or regulation;
  • for the purpose of exploiting, harming or attempting to exploit or harm minors in any way by exposing them to inappropriate content, asking for personal information or otherwise;
  • to send, knowingly receive, upload, download, use or re-use any content which does not comply with these Terms;
  • to “spam,” gather or attempt to gather personal information belonging to users or others for the purposes of spamming, marketing, selling to third parties, or otherwise abusing YSSN or its users;
  • to copy, adapt, decompile, reverse engineer, attempt to discover the source code of or make derivative works of the Service or any portion of the Service; or
  • to otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Service.

YSSN reserves the right to terminate your access to the Service if you violate these Terms. Abuse of the service and violence or threats of violence will not be tolerated and will lead to service being immediately terminated.

YSSN may unilaterally terminate your access to the Service at any time, at our sole discretion. We are not required to give you notice in advance of the termination of access to the Service.

If you require a different kind of support or require service beyond those that we can reasonably provide to you, we may terminate your service and refer you to a more appropriate service provider.

Governing law

International users

The Service is operated in Canada. If you are located outside Canada, please be aware that any information you provide will be collected in or transferred to Canada. By using the Service and/or providing us with your information, you consent to that collection and transfer.

These Terms of Service and the provision of the Service is governed solely by, and shall be interpreted according to, the laws of the Province of Ontario without giving effect to principles of conflict of law.  Any disputes shall be adjudicated under the laws of the Province of Ontario.

Privacy and security

We take your privacy and security very seriously, so we employ reasonable security controls (including encryption) to help protect your information. You agree to use the Service and submit information to YSSN at your own risk, and you agree that YSSN has no liability regarding anyone’s unauthorized access to the Service or the data associated with it.

For further information about how we protect your privacy, please review the privacy statement below.

Severability

Entire agreement

If a court finds any provision of these Terms of Service to be invalid or unenforceable, that provision shall be enforced to the maximum extent possible and the remaining terms shall remain in full force and effect. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between you and YSSN, superseding any other written or oral agreements or understandings.

Privacy statement

We are committed to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of personal information.

Your privacy is important.

The privacy statement below describes how YSSN through it’s Community Crisis Response Service, 1-855-310-COPE (2673), collects and uses personal information in connection with the texting and live chat services, and the circumstances under which we may share this information. YSSN is responsible for ensuring that we follow the relevant privacy legislation.

This Privacy statement applies only to the Crisis Text and Live Chat programs.  To learn more about YSSN’s privacy practices for other services, please visit yssn.ca.

In this statement, when we say you or your, we are talking to people who are seeking or using our services and their guardians or caregivers.

When we say we, it means York Support Services Network (YSSN).

We only collect information that we need to provide service such as:

  • name, phone number and date of birth,
  • assessment information,
  • health information including medical conditions,
  • information about your family, and/or
  • information about the supports and services you use or have used in the past.

We use the information to:

  • confirm eligibility,
  • provide linkages to supports and services,
  • understand your needs and urgency for service,
  • identify programs that may interest you, and
  • comply with laws and regulations.

If you change your mind about the decision to share information with us,  you can:

  • give, withhold, withdraw, or place limits on the consent you provided, and
  • change what information is shared.

There are two kinds of consent:

  1. Implied consent; this is only used when absolutely needed and the action taken is in your best interest. This is used for situations where it is reasonable for us to assume you would give your permission, if asked, but you are not able to right now, such as in the event of an emergency, if it is necessary to share your personal information with emergency services.
  1. Express consent; This is the most commonly used type of consent for situations where you are asked to provide your permission for specific purposes or actions.

Who can make the decision to give or refuse consent?

Some people make their own decisions about consent. The law presumes that any individual over the age of 16 is capable of making decisions about their personal care. If you are under the age of 16, we may need consent from your parent or guardian on your behalf for the use, collection, and disclosure of your personal information.

An arrangement can be made for someone to help you make decisions or make them for you as a substitute decision maker. This can happen when it is too hard for you to understand and make decisions for yourself.

If the arrangement with the substitute decision maker doesn’t work, we can ask the Consent and Capacity Board or Public Guardian and Trustee to talk to you about your situation.

With your consent, your personal information may be shared with:

  • professionals such as medical specialists, family practitioners, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, school staff,
  • agencies who could respond to your needs with services and supports,
  • people you tell us are contacts, such as family members or friends, and
  • we are required to share information with both parents when parents live apart and have equal access to their child.

When consent is not required we keep your records safe and secure by:

  • storing our paper records in a locked room,
  • using secure passwords for electronic information,
  • training staff regularly about privacy security policies,
  • following laws about how long we must keep personal health information, and
  • staff must sign privacy and confidentiality agreements with us each year.
Breach in security

YSSN will contact you to let you know what is being done to address the situation if your personal information is stolen, lost, or available to people you did not intend to see it.

Access to your YSSN record

You have the right to look at the information in your YSSN record and to ask us to make corrections if the information is wrong.

Please contact us if you would like to view your information.

Collection and use of personal information

Text and Live Chat service  

When you call, text us, or chat with us online for support services, we collect your telephone number and any other personal information that you include in your messages or that you tell us during the call. We use this information to communicate with you and to provide you with support services. We may retain this information to provide support services and enforce our Terms of Service, including to manage excessive and inappropriate use of the Service. This information is kept confidential by our support team.

Quality assurance and training

We are committed to providing you with the best possible service at all times. One of the ways that we help to ensure this is by creating transcripts of our texts with users.  We use these transcripts for training and quality assurance purposes. We may also use texting data for internal analysis purposes in order to better understand usage and improve the texting service. Transcripts will be deleted thirty (30) days after you used the Service, but your conversation will remain documented in the case notes unless you request otherwise.

Research

We may de-identify personal information and use this de-identified and aggregated data for research purposes, such as understanding use of the texting service and its impact. We may also share de-identified and aggregated data with third parties such as social and health service organizations, universities and academics, our funders and donors, and others who share our desire to address health and social issues, prevent harm and protect youth.

Data retention

While transcripts of your conversations with us will be retained for thirty (30) days, your case file will be retained by YSSN for 10 years. If you have any questions about how your information is used, please email us at privacy@yssn.ca.

Please keep in mind that a record of the texting transcript will remain on the phone that you used to communicate with us unless you delete it on the device.  You must also clear your cache on your computer to delete any saved data from your Live Chat session.

You have the right to ask questions or make complaints related to privacy or use of information.

Please contact our privacy officers:

Marilyn Graham
York Support Services Network
240 Edward Street, Unit 3 Aurora, ON  L4G 3S9
Ph: 905-898-6455 or 1-866-257-9776 ext 2240

Scott Belisle
York Support Services Network
240 Edward Street, Unit 3 Aurora, ON  L4G 3S9
Ph: 905-898-6455 or 1-866-257-9776 ext 2371

You can also contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
Information & Privacy Commissioner Ontario
80 Bloor Street West, Suite 1700
Toronto, ON M5S 2V1

YSSN is a non‐profit organization that receives funding from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services and the Ministry of Health.