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Counselling Privacy Policy

Unmasked Mental Health great care to safeguard personal data provided by our supporters and to process this data fairly and lawfully in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which came into force at the end of May 2018.

When will I need to provide my details?

We may collect personal information (for example your name, your postal address, your email address, your date of birth, or your telephone number) from you when you:

  • Sign up for one of our email newsletters
  • Register for counselling
  • Order materials
  • Get involved with us in any other way.

Why do you need my details and how do you use them?

The main reason we need your personal details is so that we are able to communicate with you and keep you informed about what we’re doing and opportunities for you to get involved in our campaign.

We will only contact you if you tell us that you are happy for us to do so (this is ‘opting-in’), usually when you fill in one of our forms on our website. When you sign up you will be able to specify what areas you are interested in and what topics you are happy for us to contact you about.

What if I don’t want you to use my details anymore?

If you ever change your mind about whether you want to hear from us then you can always amend your preferences by clicking on the link at the bottom of our emails. Alternatively, you can contact us at:

Why do you ask for information about my interest in mental health?

Sometimes we may ask you what your link is to mental health. For example, if you have a mental health problem yourself or if a friend or relative does. We ask for this information so that we can understand more about the people who support us. It can help us to provide you with information that is more relevant to you and it can help us represent you better in our campaigning work. If you are happy for us to keep this information we will treat it with strict confidence. If you do not want us to have this information you do not need to supply it. 

How do you keep my information secure?

We will take precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or unauthorised alteration of personal information you give us. For example, our website does not store your personal information when you enter it into one of our contact preference forms – it links directly to our secure database.

We may send communications to you by email. E-mail is not a fully secure means of communication, and whilst we do our utmost to keep our systems and communications protected, we cannot guarantee this.

Do you pass my details on to any other organisations or individuals?

Any information you provide is us is held in strictest confidence. We will never sell your data to another organisation. If we ever need to send data to a third party working on our behalf e.g. a mailing house, we will make sure the company we use has signed a data processing agreement with us, so that they are bound to take care of your data in the same way we do.

We have strong links with our organisation partners Elements Therapies but we do not transfer any personal data between our organisations.

Access rights

You have the right to request copies of certain of your personal information within our custody and control, and details of how we use that information. Unmasked Mental Health will always endeavour to keep accurate and up to date information on you but if you think any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, you may also request it is corrected.

In relation to all of these rights, please email or write to us at:

Please note that we may, where permitted under applicable law, charge a small administrative fee and/or request proof of identity. We will respond to your requests within all applicable timeframes (in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines).

How do you use cookies on this website?

We sometimes place small data files on your computer. These are known as cookies and their use is standard across most websites. There are several types of cookie and they have different functions or uses. For example, some cookies help us improve the experience of our website or help us tailor our services to you.

The cookies on our website are used to improve visitors’ experience and are not used to identify you personally. We have a visible banner to remind users that by using our website they consent to our use of cookies. Internet browsers normally accept cookies by default. However, it is possible to set an internet browser to reject cookies. For more information about cookies and the website management tools we use please read our cookies policy.


We have a Duty of Care to safeguard your wellbeing.

If we are really worried about you and think that you are at risk or danger, we will talk to you about the need for somebody outside the Unmasked Mental Health team to know what has happened or what is happening to you.

We would only do this if:

  • your life is at risk because of something you are doing,
  • you are at risk from somebody else,
  • you are a risk to somebody else.

In these cases, our practitioners will ask you to consent to share your details so that they can refer you to the appropriate services or get the help you need. If you do not consent and our practitioner feels it is a safeguarding issue, then they may refer/share any details which we have.

We will always:

Seek your consent to pass over your details, although we will ‘act’ to protect you without your consent if you are aged under 18 or unable to give consent.

In this case, we will:

  • Let you know who we are passing details to and why,
  • Keep you informed of any actions we intend to take,
  • Where possible, we will work with you to agree every step taken.

Sometimes, if the situation is very serious, we may have to take action without talking to you first.

Referral from Unmasked Mental Health to external services

Sometimes getting extra help for you can be really helpful. Depending on where you live you may be given the option of a referral to another service in your area. These services may be operated by Unmasked Mental Health or a partner organisation.

If you choose to self-refer to one of these services through the Unmasked Mental Health platform you may need to provide some personal data. This is to enable us to complete the referral and will be stored on the Unmasked Mental Health system and is only accessible to the Unmasked Mental Health Team and the organisation you are being referred to.

We will always seek your consent to pass over your details and let you know who we are passing details to.

Where do we keep your data and how long for?

All information is stored securely within Unmasked Mental Health Team Platform and is only accessible to the Unmasked Mental Health Team. Our systems are encrypted (coded which ensures your data is protected).

We only keep your personal data for as long as necessary to provide our services to you and also to ensure we meet our legal obligations. If you have had one-to-one chats with our Unmasked Mental Health team we usually keep your personal data upto 7 years. In some cases we may need to keep it for longer, if we legally have to.

If you have just used the Unmasked Mental Health community (the magazine, forums, articles etc) we will keep your personal data for 7 years.

Your Data – Your Rights

As the owner (aka ‘Data Subject’) of your personal data, you have certain rights under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) to find out about our use of your personal data.

You have:

  • The Right to be informed – by providing you with this document, we are giving you the information about your data that is collected and held by us,
  • The Right of access – you can ask about your personal data that we hold – this is called a “data subject access request”,
  • The Right to rectification – you can tell us if the data we hold is wrong or incomplete and ask us to put it right,
  • The Right to erasure – you can request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask* us to delete or stop processing your data. (*There may be times when we can’t do this though because we are required by law to hold it for a certain time),
  • The Right to restrict processing – you can object to the processing of your data where the Company is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing,
  • The Right to data portability – you can ask us to securely transfer your personal data to another data controller,
  • The Right to object – you can ask us to stop the processing of your personal data for a period of time if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about its accuracy or the reason for processing it.

If you wish to do any of these things, message a member of the Unmasked Mental Health team and they will help you.

If you think that we have failed to handle your data properly or have not allowed your rights listed above, you have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Your right to withdraw your consent

You have the right to withdraw consent if you have shared any personal data with us. You can withdraw your consent to share information at any time. You can request to withdraw your consent by sending a message to the Unmasked Mental Health team when you are logged in.

Additional Information on how we improve our services

We may use the data we collect to measure how we are performing as a service and to improve our service. We never use any of your personal data for these purposes without your consent.

Case studies

We are asked by the organisations who pay for the service, to provide them with anonymous monthly case studies of our work with service users. This is so they can see how well Unmasked Mental Health is performing in our role in supporting you.

Our team at Unmasked Mental Health also have to take part in ongoing training and development so that they can be best placed and trained to support you. This means that they sometimes also have to write case studies for their courses or training.

Whenever a case study is written, we never use any of your personal data. It will never be possible to identify you from these case studies.


For Unmasked Mental Health to be able to improve its services, we sometimes work with trusted partners, including universities and NHS organisations to help us analyse our data.

This includes working with researchers from universities who get ethical approval for their work.

The data which we provide to them is a mixture of statistics and information that you have provided to us.

The statistics include data such as the age, ethnicity, and gender of service users as well as other information provided to the service such as goals or assessments, and service usage data. Other information includes both public and private information shared within Unmasked Mental Health. Public information refers to any article and discussion board submissions as well as comments which are approved by our moderation team and posted on the site for other users to see. Private information refers to any communication you have with the counselling team either through chat (one-to-one messaging) or messaging the team inbox.

It does not contain any personal data which could be used to identify you – it is completely anonymised. No identifiable information will ever be shared outside of our organisation for research purposes without your explicit consent.

If you want to find out more information about how we use data for research, you can message the team through the platform.

The use of cookies on Unmasked Mental Health

Cookies help us to provide you with a good experience when you browse Unmasked Mental Health and allow you to make full use of the features available to you.

We use cookies on this website for one purpose, and that is to collect statistical information about how you use Unmasked Mental Health, so that we can improve the way the site works and measure our success. By recording such statistics as browser usage, service user location, operating system etc. we can measure and improve on how we manage and maintain our site, in order to give you an ultimately better service experience.

Who we work with