Help Texts delivers support globally, so our ethical framework draws from the Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Psychologists. In pursuit of achieving the highest ethical standards, many of the codes within our Guiding Principles also align with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychological and Code of Conduct (APA), as well as, The British Psychological Society’s Code of Ethics and Conduct (BPS). Providing superior, ethical support sits at the core of what we do. By drawing on both American and International standards, we aim to ensure that all Help Texts subscribers receive support that aligns with these standards.
Principle I: Treating People with Dignity and Respect
Help Texts believes that the respect and dignity of a person is a fundamental and universal ethical principle. This principle provides a philosophical foundation for recognizing the inherent worth of all humans and embraces our diverse cultural backgrounds and needs.
At Help Texts, our team aspires to respect the dignity, self-worth, self-determination, and rights to privacy and confidentiality of each subscriber and supporter regardless of perceived or real differences in culture, ethnic and national origin, gender, religion, social status, and developmental capacity/disabilities. All users of the Help Texts service are considered human and deserving of equal treatment. Our team tries to eliminate any bias and does not condone activities of others who participate in such prejudices.
Help Texts acknowledges and respects the diversity among people and aims to respect their cultural customs, beliefs, and traditions,to be limited only in cases where these cultural beliefs may cause serious harm or a threat to their well-being.
Help Texts strictly enforces a free and informed consent process for those who are signing up to receive services. Privacy, data protection, and confidentiality of personal information is held at a high level of compliance. We adhere to strict PII, HIPAA and GDPR rules and regulations.
In alignment with APA Principle E & BPS Code of Ethics: 3.1
Principle II: Providing Competent Care to People
Help Texts strives to competently provide care for the well-being of subscribers and supporters and to cause no harm through the text message service or interactions between our team and those receiving our texts. Help Texts aims to maximize benefits, minimize harm and correct or offset harm if it occurs. Each team member is responsible for ensuring that they have the knowledge and adequate cultural intelligence and context to address each situation in a way that benefits the subscriber or supporter and reduces harm. This includes each team member evaluating their own values, unconscious biases, experiences, culture, and social context that might influence their action or interpretation. When appropriate Help Texts team members will consult with others to ensure moral, ethical, and culturally contextual situations are being addressed unbiasedly.
Help Texts believes in taking an active role in supporting the wellbeing of individuals, families, groups, and communities. Therefore, Help Texts team members will respond to active requests for more resources and make referrals when higher level care is needed. Help Texts will not be limited by the preferences of other organizations should the wellbeing and do no harm clause be in question by our team. Additionally, the Help Texts team engages in larger conversations that advance bereavement care as healthcare within our communities and countries served.
In alignment with APA Principle C, E, 2.01(e), 2.03, 3.04 & BPS Code of Ethics: 3.2, 3.3, 3.4,
Principle III: Having Integrity
Help Texts maintains a strong position on acting with integrity which includes being honest, truthful, and fair. We maintain open and accurate communication across all scientific and professional domains within the company. The Help Texts team recognizes, monitors, and manages all interactions to ensure that they are honest, fair, and accurate with subscribers, supporters, clients, and other stakeholders. Each team member strives for unbiased representation of self and actively avoids any exploitation or conflicts of interest of subscribers, supporters, clients, or partnerships within research. Help Texts team members aspire to maintain personal and professional boundaries and agree to report any misconduct.
In terms of confidentiality and disclosure of information, Help Texts may disclose subscriber information to the organizational client with the appropriate consent. Help Texts may also disclose personal information in the event that there is a threat to safety (for the subscriber or someone else) in which case disclosure is limited to the minimum that is necessary to advance safety measures. In the event that there is a threat to self or others, Help Texts will initiate their internal crisis response protocol.
Help Texts only shares testimonials from subscribers or individuals who provide consent. Help Texts team members avoid exploitive relationships in which there may be a supervisory, authority, or evaluation of clients, subscribers, supporters, research participants, or employees. Help Texts actively avoids conflicts of interest and declares them when they cannot be avoided or are inappropriate to avoid.
In alignment with APA Principle 3.06, 3.08, 4.05 & BPS Code of Ethics: 3.4
Principle IV: Being Scientifically and Professionally Responsible
Help Texts acknowledges our responsibility to society and the sciences to contribute knowledge that improves the quality of life for individuals, families, groups, communities, and society. This includes conducting our affairs to the highest ethical and moral standards and advocating for societal structures and policies that benefit bereavement care, mental health care, and healthcare for all persons and peoples. Help Texts team members maintain a responsibility to clarify their professional roles and obligations, manage conflicts of interest and power influences, and respect the welfare of others. Additionally, Help Texts acknowledges the trust and responsibility it has as a support service and recognizes the professional accountability we have in promoting the well-being of individuals and society.
Professional accountability and Help Texts employee competencies levels are vital to the Help Texts service. The Help Texts service relies on diverse global expertise and wisdom to enrich the content (e.g., text messages) and research initiatives.
Help Texts maintains a standard to conduct research in the areas in which there is professional knowledge or expertise. Research team members will seek training and undergo all requirements needed in order to meet the standards required by Internal Review Boards or Ethics boards. Team members will seek out professional mentorship or consultancy in areas where experience is minimal. The Help Texts team seeks out continuing education to maintain high levels of competency within their professional roles.
In alignment with APA Principle B, C, 2.01 & BPS Code of Ethics: 3.2, 3.3