Anonymous. Confidential. Secure. 988 TALK is all three.
988 TALK is a mobile website and mobile app that support the national initiative to not only make it easier for those facing a mental health crisis but also to help prevent unnecessary encounters with law enforcement. The 988 TALK app serves as mental health wellness tool that lives right on your mobile device offering daily tips and resources to help keep you well long term and well as offering emergency access to professional help.
How is 988 TALK Anonymous and Confidential?
Anonymous means that you can access Safe Helpline without needing to share any personal information about yourself. Safe Helpline staff will not ask you for your personal information and will politely discourage you from sharing information in order to protect your privacy.
Anonymity provides you with the foundation for a safe, secure place to talk about what happened, where you control when and how much information you share.
We don’t need to know who you are in order to help.
You can access Safe Helpline confidentially, meaning that even if you do choose to disclose personally identifying information with staff, it won’t be documented or shared except where required by law. Confidentiality means that in most cases you can share information and it will be protected.
The Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (DoD SAPRO) established Safe Helpline so that members of the DoD community impacted by sexual assault can discuss their situation and concerns freely without worry that their information will be shared with the DoD or their chain of command.
What will happen if I share personal information with a 988 TALK team member?
We understand that sharing personally identifying information with 988 TALK staff can happen, and that’s ok. However, to maintain your anonymity, we have put processes in place to ensure that if you start to share personal information with our staff, you’ll kindly be reminded that we do not require any personal information to support your needs. No personally identifying information shared this way will ever be documented or recorded.
However, if, despite the reminder, you share information that falls under one of the exceptions to confidentiality, a 988 TALK staff member may be required by law to file a mandatory report. Staff is trained to explain what that means and will support you through this process.
Does 998 TALK ask any prerequisite or screening questions before using its services?
No, we do not screen users who access our services. We’ll never ask questions about your Service or rank, or any other identifying information.
To better support you, the only questions Safe Helpline staff are trained to ask during every session is to go through a few initial safety checks and review some basic protocol including:
- Checking in around physical safety
- Reviewing what to do if the chat/call is disconnected
- Addressing any computer safety or privacy concerns
How does 988 TALK stay secure?
- 988 TALK technology was specially built to protect your anonymity with every connection. The technology was built from the ground up to provide the highest level of security during each session. 988 TALK’s technology platforms are compliant with all HIPPA regulations for cybersecurity to ensure that the services you receive are safe, secure, and anonymous. We’ve taken the following steps to protect you when accessing 988 TALK:
- We never log IP addresses. By not using or storing an IP address, the technology platform ensures that sessions cannot be traced back to you.
- We don’t save session transcripts. Unlike email, call centers, or instant messaging platforms, which are designed to save information that can be accessed later, our technology platforms never write the transcripts of a session to disk.
- All data is encrypted. All messages are encrypted using a data encryption protocol that guarantees security while maintaining rapid data exchange, ensuring that the content of the messages cannot be intercepted and read in transit.
- You’re anonymous. The technology platform relies on routing methods that anonymize the connection between you and Safe Helpline staff via the use of unique codes, making all communication anonymous.
- In addition to these overall steps we’ve taken to keep 988 TALK anonymous and confidential, we’ve also taken specific steps with each individual service.