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You are here: Support for Australians experiencing eating disordersOur Services Butterfly National Helpline – Eating Disorder and Body Image Issues Support › The Butterfly National Helpline - Privacy Policy

Butterfly's National Helpline Privacy Policy

This privacy policy covers your engagement with the Butterfly Foundation through its National Helpline, ED HOPE. You can contact the National Helpline for support via telephone, email or webchat.


Your personal privacy is very important to us. We respect and are committed to maintaining your privacy around any information relating to you. If there is something you don’t understand or that you would like to discuss further, please email us or ring 1800 33 4673 at any time and we will be happy to help, between 8:00am and 9:00pm AEST Monday to Friday.

This Privacy Policy complies with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), the Privacy Act 1988 and related or associated legislation (collectively the Privacy Law). It explains how we collect, use, disclose, make secure and store your Personal or Sensitive (including any health) Information – all of which is defined in the Privacy Law and which we call or refer to as Your Information.

As we need to know that you accept this Privacy Policy, we will take your ongoing use of our services (in whatever form), as indicating that you accept this Privacy Policy, and have consented to us collecting and using Your Information according to the terms below. The Privacy Act (as amended), referred to in this policy, may be accessed at


We collect your information only where necessary and relevant so that we can provide you with our services and, subject to your permission, conduct research. The nature of your information that is held by us will vary depending on the nature of your interaction with us. The information which identifies you and is specific to you is only collected when it relates to a specific purpose or is relevant for our activities at Butterfly.

The information that you provide is so that we can best support you and understand the impact of our services. You may choose to use the Butterfly National Helpline without telling us who you are or revealing any information that personally identifies you.

We may collect your information in different ways including (but not limited to) phone, webchat, emails, forms completed and provided to us in hard copy or electronically. We may also collect website statistics (which includes pages accessed and search terms used) but this information is not identifiable. The type of information that we collect from you, depending upon its purpose, may include your name, mail and/or email address, phone number, date of birth. Some research activities may require your sensitive (including health) information, including details on your physical or mental health and well being. If you are under 16 years old, we assume that you have contacted us with parental or guardian consent. If this is not the case we ask you to advise us accordingly.

Where your information includes sensitive information about your physical or mental health, background or a disability, we are careful that it be kept secure.


We use and disclose your information only to fulfill the purpose for which it is collected. If you do not provide some or all of the information requested, we may not be able to offer you our services or provide you with information you request from us. We will usually collect your personal information directly from you. 

If we need to contact you, we will use the details you provide to us. You may at times give information to us about other individuals, such as emergency details. If so, we rely on you to inform those individuals that you are providing their personal information to us and you agree that it is your responsibility to advise them about this policy.


In certain circumstances, if your communication with us raises safety concerns, we may need to pass on your contact information (if you have supplied it) to the relevant authorities who can help protect you and/or others, such as a crisis service or the police without your consent. Where possible we will work with you openly, letting you know if our concerns reach the point where we need to involve other services. We are obliged to try to protect you and/or others if the information you submit tells us that:

  • you require emergency medical treatment
  • you are being seriously hurt by someone else;
  • you are thinking of seriously harming yourself;
  • someone else is being, or is likely to be, seriously hurt by you or another person.
  • there is a serious and imminent threat to the life, health or safety of you or another person;
  • disclosure is required or authorised by law;
  • disclosure is reasonably necessary to enable an enforcement body to perform its functions, for example the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of criminal offences;and
  • the preparation for, or conduct of, proceedings before any court or tribunal, or implementation of the orders of a court or tribunal.


Your Information is only kept while it is required for the purpose for which it was collected, for a permitted secondary purpose or as required by law. We take all reasonable steps to ensure your information is protected from modification, misuse, disclosure, loss and unauthorised access. We also take reasonable steps to destroy or permanently de-identify your information which is no longer needed for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy. However, your information may remain on one of our databases until you advise you would like it removed, unless we de-identify it or destroy it earlier in accordance with Privacy Law requirements.

Although we take reasonable steps to protect the privacy and security of your information, we are not liable for any unauthorised access or use of that Information. Please note that the internet is never totally secure and we provide no warranty as to the security of your information. Accordingly, any information which you provide to us is at your own risk.

Cookies and session information cookies are pieces of information that a site sends to your computer’s hard disk when you access information on that site. Each time you use your computer to access the same site, the information that was previously received is sent back to the site by your browser. Cookies do not identify individual users and are not considered personal information.

When you visit our website, our servers may record information about your usage, the time of your visit, its duration, the pages you visit, and style and browser settings. We may use this information to publish aggregate statistics about usage, membership, traffic patterns and other related site information that does not personally identify users of our sites. This is important to ensure that our content and services continue to meet the general needs of our users. The information we collect about you as a user, remains anonymous and is not linked to Your Information. If you do not agree to the use of cookies, you can set the preferences on your browser to remove all cookies and reject cookies in the future.


We try to ensure that your information as provided by you to us remains accurate and current. Under the Privacy Law, you have the right to obtain access to any information which we hold about you, and to advise of any inaccuracy, if it is out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading. There are some exceptions to this right set out in law. Please advise us of changes to your contact details.

To make a request to access or update any of your information we hold about you, please contact the National Manager, Clinical and Support Services in writing to We will require you to verify your identity and specify what Information you require.


We may need to update this Privacy Policy. When we do this, the updated policy will apply to all of your Information held by us at the time.

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