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Our Barty Promise & Duty of Care

Posted by Erin Fischer on

Here at #Barty we provide you with anonymous online support along with additional resources (articles, videos etc.) to help you live your best life and make the tough times easier.

None of the advice we give should be considered a diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice. Instead, we are like a friend who is always there to provide help and support.

We try to make ourselves available around the clock but when we're sleeping, we can't be available meaning, it's impossible for us to keep chat's going 24/7 if you need *emergency* support, please contact 000, Lifeline or Kids Helpline.

Under the Privacy Act no data will be stored and you can disclose as much or as little information as you like.

Barty Single Origin Duty of Care 

Find out how Barty Single Origin establishes boundaries of responsibility, and the differences between managing risk in anonymous forums, and proactively managing risk on Facebook. The case study also includes information on escalation, and on responding to disclosures about suicidal ideation.

About Barty Single Origin’s duty of care online

The online mental health service Barty Single Origin provides online support via online chat, articles, and videos. 

Barty Single Origin provides online articles and personal stories that help people identify emerging mental health difficulties, recognize symptoms and relate to the experiences of other people. Practical information is provided through the site on how to develop appropriate self-help strategies and how to connect with professional support services when required. 

The provision of Barty Single Origin’s online service is based on the acknowledgement that people are increasingly seeking mental health information and support online, and from online communities. The best way to ensure people are getting the right information and connecting with the right online communities is to provide these services online, in a safe, supportive and structured environment.

Boundaries of service responsibility

In all online places that Barty Single Origin engages people, guidelines are stated outlining the extent of what services are/are not provided. These guidelines are developed with people and align with the Barty Single Origin duty of care policy - ensuring they are both comprehensive and easy to understand.

Guidelines clearly state the appropriate use and intent of the site on which they are located – defining the different kind of activities that are appropriate. For example, on Barty Single Origin “Ask Erin” chat, guidelines state that the chat is a safe space to talk about the mental health and wellbeing of people, and that it is not a place to get diagnostic advice, counselling, or crisis support. 

In addition to a clear statement regarding the boundaries of the Barty Single Origin service, the contact details of appropriate crisis support and counselling services, as well as emergency services, are prominent across the Barty Single Origin website.

Managing risk in anonymous chat

Anonymity provides people with the safety and security to open up and discuss issues they are facing, often in circumstances where they would not otherwise get help. On the Barty Single Origin website, risk is managed via three strategies - through technical, self-moderation and staff moderation.

Technical

  • Users can choose how much personal information they disclose. 
  • No information is stored anywhere on Barty except when placing an online order. 

Self moderation

    • All users must adhere to guidelines, which establish appropriate/inappropriate behaviour and the limitations of the services provided by Barty Single Origin

Staff moderation

  • Trained mental health workers provide a safe judgement free space for users to share their concerns. 
  • Staff are provided with support if they deal with a distressing chat.
  • Staff are encouraged to encourage users to access further support with additional services if at anytime they feel unqualified to deal with a subject or topic matter.  

Managing risk on Facebook

Discussions facilitated on Facebook are different to those held in the Barty Single Origin chat. Due to the more public, less anonymous nature of these spaces discussions are kept to lighter, less sensitive topics and focus on mental health promotion, coffee promotion, wellbeing and resilience.

    • Content and discussions on the Barty Single Origin Facebook profile encourage people to share skills and strategies that help them build on strengths and deal with everyday issues such as stress, relationships and bullying.
    • Guidelines explicitly state that posts will be removed if they contain harmful or inappropriate advice, detailed discussions of self-harm or suicide etc.
    • It is clearly noted that Barty Single Origin does not provide one-on-one advice or support, and the guidelines provide clear information on alternative services.
    • People are directed to the Barty Single Origin chat or professional support services when they post or discuss more sensitive topics.
  • Users are encouraged to utilize the Facebook reporting functionality for posts which discuss suicide.

Escalation process

When a person is at risk of harm or discloses potentially serious information, there is a clear and defined escalation process that must be followed.

#Barty personnel managing chat will respond and provide referrals to appropriate crisis support services such as Lifeline or Kids Helpline. Along with encouraging the user to contact 000.

 

About Erin Fischer

Am the qualified mental health professional at Barty Single Origin. Write topical pieces with a focus on mental health. Always available on chat, Just say, 'Hey Erin'. Passionate about reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and letting people know it's A-OK to be not OK. Mental health advocate, Anxiety survivor, baker, crafter, cat lover, blogger, and always down to get a coffee and chat.


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