The U-Matter counselling service is a messaging-based chatline being done as a partnership between the Ministry of Health and Wellness; U-Report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); and the Caribbean Child Development Centre (CCDC) at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus. The service is provided by professionals from the field of counselling and psychology who were selected as volunteers under a competitive and rigorous process.
What service do U-Matter volunteer counsellors provide?
The selected volunteers provide counselling and psychosocial support however they do not offer therapeutic or psychiatric treatments. Volunteers are supervised by licensed counselling psychologists.
How does U-Matter work with U-Report?
The service operates on the platform of UNICEF’s U-Report social messaging service for youth. U-Report provides a space for Jamaicans aged 16-24 years-old accessing U-Matter to send and receive written messages via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and SMS.
How can I use U-Matter?
Youth can access the chatline by messaging the word SUPPORT to U-Report at 876-838-4897 on WhatsApp or SMS (SMS is free for Flow customers) or @ureportjamaica on Facebook Messenger. Accessing this service is your choice and no fee is charged.
My information: how and what is collected?
How do we obtain information about you?
- What personal information do we collect?
1. Information we ask for:
(i) Demographic information (gender, age and parish) when you opt-in to receive support from one of our counsellors. This information helps us to better understand your current situation and provide you with the appropriate support. We do not ask for any personally identifying information, nor can we view it, since our system and service works anonymously.
(ii) Information during the chat session with the counsellor, including if you would like to be recommended to another service for further support. Requesting your name and contact information might be required/helpful for us to do so .
(iii) Feedback at the end of your chat session with our counsellor, in the form of a quick user satisfaction survey.
2. Information the platform collects:
(i) To be able to reply to the user’s message, our platform will store your phone number or social media ID on the back-end of the platform. That information is anonymized and therefore not accessible to the chatline staff/counsellors.
The counsellors and supervisors of the U-Matter chatline will ensure that the data collection process avoids collecting unnecessary data or special categories of personal data or other intrusive data.
My information: how is it stored and protected?
We use the same trusted third-party application as U-Report – called RapidPro – that enables us to communicate with you via messaging. RapidPro providers are under contractual obligation to have in place data protection and privacy safeguards similar to ours and can handle your information only for specific and necessary purposes following our instructions.
Please note that your answers can also be stored in the channel you use, e.g., in a Facebook or WhatsApp conversation. You might consider deleting the conversation to prevent someone else from taking your phone and accessing what you shared .
How long is my information stored for?
We will only use and store your personal information for so long as it is required for the purposes it was collected for. We use your personal information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements and rights.
How and why U-Matter may share my personal information?
Keeping your information confidential is important to us. We will generally only share non-personal and aggregate information captured via the U-Report platform, app, and website. Circumstances where we may share non-personal information include:
● To the U-Matter partners as aggregated information to support health services, youth engagement and inform decision-making, local projects, initiatives, and campaigns.
● To third-party service providers who provide services to us, such as website hosting, data analysis, information technology and related infrastructure provisions, analytics providers to deliver content targeted to your interests and to help us to better understand how you use our site, email delivery, and other services. However, we will never sell your information to a third party.
The limited personal information we hold may be shared only in exceptional circumstances, and only for specific and necessary purposes. We may share personal information:
● With your permission. For instance, if you need urgent assistance, a U-Matter counsellor will seek your permission through direct messages.
Any third party that obtains access to personal information is under contractual obligation to have data protection and privacy safeguards similar to ours. They are permitted to handle the personal information they have access to only for specific and necessary purposes following our instructions. This also holds in situations where personal information is transferred internationally.
How secure is my information processed by U-Matter?
We use many reasonable measures – physical and electronic – to protect your Personal Information against unauthorized access and disclosure. However, the possibility exists that third parties may unlawfully intercept or access your Personal Information or private communications. So, although we work extremely hard to safeguard your information, we cannot guarantee that your information or communications will always remain private.
We also ask that you do your part to safeguard your Personal Information:
● Activate a unique PIN or password code to access your phone or device. Make it personal and not easy for others to guess. Do not use your date of birth or your name, for example.
● Use a strong password to connect to the channels you use to send messages to U-Report (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or SMS). Do not share this password with anyone.
● Be careful about connecting to U-Report, using insecure Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi, for example, is inherently insecure — so be cautious.
● Set up a feature that will allow you to erase all the data from your device if it's lost or stolen.
What are my rights as a user of U-Matter?
● You have the right to request your personal information stored by U-Matter on the U-Report server. You can change it, delete it, and refuse its use. To do this, send MYDATA through any of the U-Report channels (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or SMS).
● You have the right to be informed about your rights in the use of U-Matter and U-Report.
● You have the right to request deletion of your registration and stored data at any time. To do this, send DELETEME through any of the U-Report channels (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or SMS).
● You have the right to decide whether to participate in any activities we will make available.
How do I stop being part of U-Matter and delete my information?
You have the right to leave and request deletion of your registration and stored information at any time. To quit, send QUIT to any of the U-Report channels (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or SMS). You will then be sent a reply message inviting you to either (i) Re-join should you so change your mind or (ii) Confirm quitting but also to delete your information. We periodically remove contacts and delete information when requested by users.