Terms of Service
Last updated: 10.12.2022
PLEASE PRINT A COPY OF THESE TERMS FOR YOU RECORDS AND PLEASE CHECK THE SITE FREQUENTLY FOR ANY CHANGES TO THESE TERMS.
NO PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
The information made available through our Website or Services cannot replace or substitute for the services of trained professionals in any field, including medical or legal matters.
YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES ARE NOT INTENDED TO, AND DO NOT, PROVIDE MENTAL OR MEDICAL HEALTHCARE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT AND DOES NOT CREATE A THERAPIST-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP, DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP OR ANY SIMILAR CONFIDENTIAL OR PRIVILEGED RELATIONSHIP. THE WEBSITE AND SERVICES ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL HEALTHCARE, MENTAL HEALTHCARE TREATMENT, PSYCHIATRIC CARE, OR THERAPY OF ANY KIND.
Our Services are not intended for anyone in need of immediate medical services or in the case of a life-threatening emergency. IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY, CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR 911 IMMEDIATELY, OR VISIT THE NEAREST HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM.
RISKS OF USE OF THE WEBSITE OR SERVICES
You assume all risk for use of the Website and Services. The information provided on the Website or through the Services are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time without notice. By accessing or linking to the Website, you assume the risk that the information on the Website may be incomplete, inaccurate, out of date, or may not meet your needs and requirements. You agree that the Website may be changed, updated, or removed at any time without notice and without liability. You further agree that we will not be liable to you or any third party for any modification, suspension, or discontinuance of or interruption in access to the Website or Services.
Neither Childhelp nor any of our employees, volunteers, or agents will be or is responsible or liable for any decisions, or results of the decisions that you make while, as a result of, or after contacting us, using the Website or using the Services. This includes whether you choose to seek or not seek professional care, or to modify or terminate specific treatment that you are currently receiving based on the information provided by our Website or Services. We do not assume any liability for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages that may result from your use of our Website or Services, including economic loss, injury, illness, or death.
PROHIBITED USES; RIGHT TO TERMINATE ACCESS
You agree to use the Website and Services only for lawful and legitimate purposes and in accordance with these Terms. You agree NOT to use the Website or Service:
- IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF IMMEDIATE MEDICAL OR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR 911 IMMEDIATELY, OR VISIT THE NEAREST HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM.
- in any way that violates any applicable federal, state, 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 threaten, harass, or otherwise inappropriately abuse us, our employees, partners, agents, subcontractors, counselors, or others;
- to prank call, chat, or text us. “Swatting” or making similar malicious prank calls, chats, or texts is illegal, and we may report this to the authorities.
- 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 Childhelp or its users;
- 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 Childhelp or users of the Services or expose them to liability; or to otherwise attempt to gain access to the phone system, SMS or live chat interface or backend data or otherwise interfere with the proper working of the call, text or live chat services.
Childhelp reserves the right to, without notice to you, terminate your access to the Website or Service at any time, for any reason, including for engaging in the prohibited uses described above, for violating these Terms if we believe your use is in violation of any applicable law or is harmful to the interests of any other person, other third-party entity, or our Services, or for any other reason such as cell/internet service interruptions, encrypted unrecognizable text/symbols, etc. Conversations may be terminated immediately if, in the sole opinion of Childhelp or its employee, volunteer, or agent, any rules are violated. In addition, Childhelp may restrict the frequency of conversations or adjust your access if we determine that you would be better served by a different kind of support. The termination of your access to the Website or Services is at the sole discretion of Childhelp, its employees, volunteers, or agents.
This Website and all of its contents, including the Childhelp Content, are owned by or licensed to Childhelp or other authorized third parties and are protected from unauthorized use, copying, and dissemination by copyright, trademark, publicity, and other laws and by international treaties. Unless we expressly say otherwise, you may access the materials located within the Website only for your personal, non-commercial use. You may download and use our educational, advocacy-related, and other documents and materials for those purposes, but you must:
- Not sell these materials (including printed copies of them);
- Not mass-produce copies of them;
- Not make them available on other websites or other online platforms, whether owned by you or otherwise, except through a link to our Website;
- Properly attribute them to Childhelp (and not edit or alter them when doing so); and
- Not change or delete any attribution, trademark, legend, or copyright notice.
When you download copyrighted material, you do not obtain any ownership rights to that material. Childhelp and our licensors retain all rights with respect to the Website and Childhelp Content, except those rights expressly granted to you in these Website Terms. Except as expressly set forth in these Terms, you may not (i) access, view, modify, or otherwise use any portion of our Website not made expressly accessible to you, or (ii) modify, copy, publish, display, transmit, distribute, adapt, use, or in any way exploit the Website or Childhelp Content without our prior express written consent. In any event, you agree not to use the Website or Childhelp Content for any unlawful purposes and not to violate Childhelp’s rights or the rights of others. Unless stated otherwise, all the people shown in the photographs on the Website are models or stock images. Their photos were chosen based solely for aesthetic reasons; other than that, they have no connection to Childhelp or any of the topics discussed on the Website.
You agree that you will be solely responsible for your User Content. You also warrant and represent that: (i) your User Content does not and will not infringe any copyright or any other third-party rights, nor violate any applicable law or regulation; and (ii) you have the right to and, in fact, do grant to Childhelp any and all necessary rights and licenses, including all necessary copyright and other related rights to the User Content, and the right to hyperlink to any web page links you provide, free and clear of any encumbrances, without violating the rights of any person or entity, including any right to privacy or publicity.
CLASS ACTION WAIVER
NEITHER YOU NOR WE MAY ACT AS A CLASS REPRESENTATIVE OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, NOR PARTICIPATE AS A MEMBER OF A CLASS OF CLAIMANTS, WITH RESPECT TO ANY CONTROVERSIES, CLAIMS, COUNTERCLAIMS, OR OTHER DISPUTES BETWEEN YOU AND US OR YOU AND A THIRD-PARTY AGENT OF OURS (EACH A “CLAIM”). WE AND YOU AGREE THAT ALL CLAIMS MUST BE ADJUDICATED ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS. WE AND YOU AGREE TO WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO ASSERT ANY CLAIMS AGAINST EACH OTHER AS A REPRESENTATIVE OR MEMBER IN ANY CLASS, COLLECTIVE, PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL, REPRESENTATIVE OR OTHER JOINT ACTION, EXCEPT WHERE SUCH WAIVER IS PROHIBITED BY LAW OR DEEMED BY A COURT OF LAW TO BE AGAINST PUBLIC POLICY. TO THE EXTENT EITHER YOU OR WE ARE PERMITTED BY LAW OR COURT OF LAW TO PROCEED WITH A CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION AGAINST THE OTHER, YOU AND WE AGREE THAT: (I) THE PREVAILING PARTY SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO RECOVER ATTORNEYS’ FEES OR COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PURSUING THE CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION (NOT WITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION IN THIS AGREEMENT); AND (II) THE PARTY WHO INITIATES OR PARTICIPATES AS A MEMBER OF THE CLASS WILL NOT SUBMIT A CLAIM OR OTHERWISE PARTICIPATE IN ANY RECOVERY SECURED THROUGH THE CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION.
We may use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing (“AI”) in connection with our operation of the Services. For instance, we may use AI as part of the Services intake process in order to determine the appropriate place for you in the queue if all of our counselors are occupied. We may also use AI for analysis during and after conversations, such as for detecting conversation themes. While we will only use AI that we believe functions well, and we apply high ethical and anti-bias standards in our use of AI, we cannot control or predict the outcome of AI in any particular case. AI may not accurately predict your individual risk level and may not assign you to a place in the queue that reflects your particular case. Neither Childhelp nor any of our employees, volunteers, or agents will be or is responsible for any outcomes of AI. Note that we do not use AI as a substitute for live individuals; our counselors are real people.
ANALYTICS AND AGGREGATION OF DATA
As part of our Services, we offer the ability to communicate with you via text (SMS) messages. To communicate with us by text message, you must agree (or “opt-in”) to receiving the text message communications. Your opt-in will apply only for the duration of a specific conversation. If you are waiting to speak to a counselor, you can cancel by texting “STOP”. After you send the message to us, we will send you a reply message to confirm that you will no longer receive Services-related messages from us. After this, you will only receive Services-related messages from us if you opt in to rejoin the queue. Participating carriers include AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Boost Mobile, MetroPCS, Virgin Mobile, Cricket, and most other carriers available in the United States.
Alerts and messages sent via SMS may not be delivered to you if your phone is not in range of a transmission site, or if sufficient network capacity is not available at a particular time. Even within a coverage area, factors beyond the control of your wireless carrier may interfere with message delivery, including your equipment, terrain, proximity to buildings, foliage, and weather. You acknowledge that urgent alerts may not be timely received and that your wireless carrier does not guarantee that alerts or messages will be delivered. We will not be liable for losses or damages arising from (i) non-delivery, delayed delivery, or misdirected delivery of an SMS message; (ii) inaccurate or incomplete content in an SMS message; or (iii) use or reliance on the contents of any SMS message for any purposes.
As always, message and data rates may apply for any messages sent to you from us and to us from you. Message frequency may vary by user depending on the conversation. If you have any questions about your text plan or data plan, please contact your wireless provider.
You understand and acknowledge that the Services may not be, and some are not, fully compatible with certain mobile devices, and you may experience technical issues with smartphones, tablets, and other devices.
CHILDREN UNDER 13 YEARS OLD
THIRD PARTY SERVICES
You may contact us through approved third party websites, applications or services (“Third Party Services”). However, these Terms only apply to you and Childhelp. We are not responsible for, and make no representations regarding the policies or business practices of any Third Party Services. If you contact us through a Third Party Service, you are subject to these Terms as well as the terms and policies of the Third Party Service. We encourage you to review the terms and policies of any Third Party Service you use to contact Childhelp. If you do not wish to be subject to a Third Party Service’s terms or policies, please do not contact Childhelp through a Third Party Service; instead you should contact us by directly calling or texting 1-800-422-4453 or entering a live chat session on the Childhelp website (childhelphotline.org) or the Courage First Athlete Helpline website (athletehelpline.org).
We take your privacy and security very seriously, so we employ reasonable security controls (including encryption) to help protect your information. Despite these protections, calls, SMS and online live chat remain imperfectly secure environments and there are some really persistent hackers out there. No method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage, is 100% secure, however. Therefore, we cannot guarantee its absolute security and encourage you to use websites and share information with caution. You agree to use the Service and submit information to Childhelp at your own risk, and you agree that Childhelp has no liability regarding anyone’s unauthorized access to the Childhelp call, text and live chat services or the data associated with it. Additionally, we care about the privacy and safety of our staff. In using the Service, you agree to not communicate with our staff outside of the Service.
It’s our goal to support you in staying safe and healthy and to do so in the least invasive way possible. If a crisis counselor identifies imminent harm to yourself or someone else i.e., if you have suicidal desire, a plan, access to means, and an imminent timeline) or suspects abuse or neglect, they may let you know they’re concerned about your safety. At this point, they might ask you for some personally identifiable information (such as where you are or what your name is). Our policy is to alert law enforcement, state authorities, or emergency services if your communications with us indicate that you or another person are at imminent risk of death or serious injury. We’re not here to tell on you, but we are here to do our best to support you and others in staying healthy and safe. We may attempt to locate you or the individual you are concerned about, but it may not always be possible. The laws of many states require us to make a report to the authorities in situations such as a child is in danger, being abused, if we have reason to believe that you or someone else is in immediate danger.
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 call, text and live chat staff are located in multiple states in the United States; while all of our counselors 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.
Sometimes, we may refer you to another hotline or resource in your community. There are some really great programs out there! We will give you their contact info but we will NOT give them your contact info. So, it’s up to you if you want to use the referral. If you would like to receive support from other services, please note that different rules may apply to their use or disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information. We do not control the privacy policies of others. We encourage you to ask questions before you disclose your Personally Identifiable Information to others.
INFORMATION SHARED WITH THIRD PARTY SERVICES
If you contact us through a Third Party Service (A) both Childhelp and the third party that runs the Third Party Service may have access to the content of the messages you share and (B) your information may be shared between us and that third party. For example, we and the third party may exchange your location information to contact local law enforcement or emergency services in an emergency.
In certain narrow circumstances, we may disclose Personally Identifiable Information we collect from you to additional third parties if we believe such disclosure is necessary: (A) to comply with the law or in response to a subpoena, court order, government request, or other legal process; (B) to protect the interests, rights, safety, or property of Childhelp, its affiliates, employees, including but not limited to Counselors; (C) to enforce our terms of service, including our privacy terms; (D) in connection with a merger, acquisition, liquidation, or corporate divestiture of Childhelp or its affiliates, or (E) to address fraud, security, technical issues, or to operate the Service or its infrastructure systems properly.
Note that the Childhelp call, text and live chat staff are located in various locations in the United States, and may not be licensed in your state or 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.
RETENTION OF INFORMATION
Childhelp retains data for reasons including but not limited to improving the quality of our crisis counseling, complying with funding requirements and other reporting requirements, creating open data collaboration tools and research. We will retain and use information for as long as we need it to provide you Services, or as long as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements. We permanently retain aggregated, de-identified and statistical data that does not include personal information.
GOVERNING LAW: INTERNATIONAL USERS
These Terms of Service and the provision of the Service is governed solely by, and shall be interpreted according to, the laws of the State Arizona without giving effect to principles of conflict of law. Childhelp and you both consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts located in the city of Scottsdale. The Service is operated in the United States. If you are located outside the United States, please be aware that any information you provide will be collected in or transferred to the United States. By using the Service and/or providing us with your information, you consent to that collection and transfer.
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 Childhelp, superseding any other written or oral agreements or understandings.
This project is supported in part by Grant Number 90CA1855 from the Administration of Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of these Terms and Conditions are solely the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.