What service does Choices’ helpline offer?

The aim of the helpline is to provide emotional support to everybody on the CHOICES Counselling waiting list. The helpline is available from 7 pm-9 pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

Is the helpline confidential?

Our confidentiality policy is as follows:

Any data recorded during the call will be used for statistical and monitoring purposes only and will remain anonymous and be stored securely.

 ‘Everything you say during the call is confidential within CHOICES unless there is serious concern for yourself or others, if you are willing to give your contact details that will be taken as your consent to breaching confidentiality and the call handler alerting emergency services.

 We have a legal obligation to pass on any information relating to acts of terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking. ‘

 When you call the helpline you will reminded of our confidentiality policy at the beginning of the call.

What will the call handler know about me?

 You will be provided with a unique client ID number which you will be asked to give to the call handler; call handlers will not know any personal information about you.

What can I call the helpline about?

You may call the helpline regarding anything. The helpline is not a counselling service but is able to provide somebody to listen non-judgmentally and offer emotional support. You may wish to call if you are feeling depressed, suicidal, lonely, anxious or are perhaps having a bad day.

Do I have to speak about my abuse?

No. it is completely up to you if you wish to discuss this or not. There is no pressure to talk about anything you do not wish to talk about.

Will information I share with the call handlers be passed on to my counsellor?

 No, what you choose to discuss on the helpline will not be shared with your counsellor.

Are my problems too trivial to call?

No. If something is troubling to you it is not trivial.

Please feel free to call the helpline about anything that you wish to off-load or need emotional support with.

 Will the call handler be able to offer me advice?

Calls handlers are not able to offer advice but do offer a space for you to talk through your feelings and perhaps explore some options.

What if I’m nervous or anxious abut calling the helpline?

Please do give us a call. All of our staff are well trained and understand that it is a big step to pick up the phone and call. It may take you a while or even a few goes to say anything but when you feel ready we are here to listen.

How often can I ring and how long can my call last for?

While you are on the CHOICES counselling waiting list you can ring every time the line is open. Your call may last for up to thirty minutes. The call handler will inform you when you are near the end of your call. If you do not use up all of your minutes you may call back the same evening and use the remaining minutes.

When is the helpline available?

The helpline is available 7 pm-9 pm every Tuesday and Thursday.

How do I get my client ID number?

CHOICES will email you your client ID number along with the helpline information. If you have not received yours or you have misplaced your number, please contact the Choices office on 01223 358149 or email admin@choicescounselling. co.uk

What if I cannot get through?

 We understand this can be frustrating but please try again later that evening. If you are unable to get through and need to speak to somebody urgently perhaps call a service such as the Samaritans on 116 123. They are open 24 hours a day.

What do I do if I wish to make a complaint?

If you need to make a complaint please put it in writing and send it to Head of Services, CHOICES , Norfolk Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LD. Your complaint will be responded to not longer than seven working days after receipt.