Privacy Policy

Rethink Mental Illness takes great care to preserve your privacy and safeguard any personal details you provide to us, whether on this website or by another means. This Policy explains how we collect and use your information.

By using our website or providing us with your personal information you are agreeing to this Policy. We update this Policy from time to time, for example to keep it up to date in line with General Data Protection Regulations and other applicable legislation, so please check it regularly. We will communicate changes as often as we can.

1.When will I need to provide my details?

We may collect personal information (for example your name, your address, your date birth, or your telephone number) from you when you:

(a) Become one of our members;

(b) Apply for a paid or unpaid role within Rethink Mental Illness, for the processing of your application;

(c) Make a donation to us;

(d) Order materials or training from us;

(e) Use one of our services, including our national advice service (correspondence between you and the advice service will remain confidential); or 

(f) Contact us or become involved with us in another way, for example with our governance, as a campaigner, fundraiser or as a media volunteer.

2.Why do you need my details and how do you use them?

If you give us your personal details for any of the above we may rely on your consent, a legal need or contract, or a ‘legitimate interest’ for different purposes.

Consent (our ‘opt-in’ and legitimate interest policies)

We’d love to keep in touch with all our supporters about the work we do, and tell you about the amazing difference you're making, and how your support (both financial and non-financial) could help more people severely affected by mental illness. We’ll only keep in touch if you tell us via our contact preferences forms that you are happy for us to contact you (this is 'opting-in') by phone, email, or SMS.

From 2020 we are changing our lawful basis to apply legitimate interest for postal marketing.

‘Marketing’ is defined as anything which ‘furthers the aims of the charity’ and includes things like our newsletter, fundraising appeals and campaigning actions like us asking you to sign a petition or email your MP.

So if you start to support Rethink Mental Illness and give us your address after January 2020, we will write to you to keep you updated about our work, appeals, campaigns and events, and will continue to do so, unless you tell us otherwise, or we have had no other contact from you two years from then. Just before that we'll ask you again if you still want to hear from us. 

Where we have your consent to use your details for marketing, including pre 2020, you can withdraw it at any time, and we'll ask you every two years if you're still happy to hear from us if you have not donated, signed a petition or otherwise engaged with us within that time. 

We might personalise our communications to you (e.g. by looking at donations you’ve already given us and sorting them by date, subject, frequency and amount) and use this to decide if and when we ask you again. It makes communications more relevant to you and is based on behaviour – not by purchasing data from outside sources.

Please rest assured that we will never sell your details to any third party.

You can read some more examples of us using data under 'legitimate interest' here.

For what other purpose? (eg legal need, or a contract)

  • Where you have given us your details we may use them to process your donation to us, to set up and fulfil your membership, e.g. to send out copies of Your Voice to you or contact HMRC for Gift Aid. This counts as a type of contract because you asked us to do this for you.
  • If you attend one of our services – we will keep professional records of the support we’ve given you, and who else is involved in your care – this is also a type of contract.
  • When dealing with your personal information we will at all times comply with the Data Protection Act 2018, and any other applicable legislation.

3. Why do you ask for information about my interest in mental health?

Sometimes we may ask you what your link is to mental illness. For example if you have a mental illness yourself, or if a friend or relative of yours does, or if you have another connection to mental illness. We ask for this information simply so that we can understand more about people who support us. It can help us to provide you with information that is more relevant to you; it can help us represent you better in our campaigning work; and it helps us ensure we are carrying out Equality and Diversity best practice, and best practice within our own governance. If you are happy for us to keep this information we will treat it with strict confidence.  If you do not want us to have this information you do not need to supply it.

If we have other sensitive information about you (eg your mental health diagnosis because we have supported you through one of our services), this information is also kept in strict confidence – only those members of staff who need to see or report on this information can see it.

4. Do you pass my details to any other organisations or individuals?

We will never sell your data to another organisation.  

In addition, if we ever need to send data to a third party (for example to our printers to send you a magazine you asked for) we will make sure the company we use has signed a data processing agreement with us, so that they are bound to take care of your data in the same way we do. For instance, our partners at Engaging Networks (who manage large e-campaigns for us where we might encourage supporters to email their MP) use the exact same wording on their sign-up page to our campaigns as we use on our own website, and must treat your data with the same care that we do. Here is a full list of the partner organisations we work with for marketing.

If you have made a Gift Aid declaration, we may disclose the information you have provided as part of the declaration to HMRC for the purpose of reclaiming gift aid on your donation(s).

We may also share or disclose your personal information if we are required to do so by any law or court order. This is called a legal need.

5. Do you profile my data for marketing purposes?

Yes, we do segment existing supporter data, e.g. at postcode level, in order to see if we can find new supporters of a similar profile. 

At Rethink Mental Illness, our work is only made possible thanks to the generosity of our supporters, so It’s vital that our fundraising efforts are as effective as they can be. By developing a better understanding of our supporters through researching them, including using publicly available sources, we can tailor and target our fundraising events and communications (including volunteering opportunities) to those most likely to be interested in them. This allows us to be more efficient and cost-effective with our resources, and also reduces the risk of someone receiving information that they might find irrelevant, intrusive or even distressing.

After taking a supporter’s preferences into account, we, or our trusted service providers, may also use information we hold on such supporters to research their potential to be a significant donor to Rethink Mental Illness, and collect additional details relating to their employment and any philanthropic activity. This might also include estimating their gift capacity, based on their visible assets, history of charitable giving and how connected they are to Rethink Mental Illness.

We’re committed to putting you in control of your data and you’re free at any time to opt out from this activity. To find out more, please contact us.

6. How do you keep my information secure?

We will take precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or unauthorised alteration of personal information you give us. For example, our website does not store your personal information when you enter it into one of our contact preference forms - it links directly to our secure database.

We may send communications to you by email. E-mail is not a fully secure means of communication, and whilst we do our utmost to keep our systems and communications protected we cannot guarantee this.

We make no representations about any other websites, and when you access any other website through a link on our website (including social media sites) you should understand that it is independent from us and that we have no control over that website or the way your personal information is collected through those websites.

Those websites may have their own privacy policies and we encourage you to look at those policies or contact the website operators directly to understand how your personal information is used. 

We have strong links with our partners at Time to Change, and have a sign-up link on their website for those interested in hearing from Rethink Mental Illness. That link comes directly to our website and so does not require any transfer of data between the two organisations.

7. How do you use cookies on this website?

For information on how cookies are used on our website, please see our Cookie Policy.

Some uses of cookies (like helping you to fill out forms) may be replaced by ‘Local Storage’ in the coming years – we will update our Policy if we adopt this, to keep you informed. There are also new ‘E-Privacy’ regulations coming in the future which will inform more updates about electronic data.

8. How long will you keep my data?

We will keep data for only as long as it makes sense to do - so this becomes more important after you end your membership or other contact with us, for example. Legally we need to keep some records (financial or in relation to care services) in case there is a query. In general, we use a 6-year rule.

We will review supporter data 6 years after your last contact with us, and delete or minimise those we have no reason to keep. In any case, marketing contact stops automatically after 2 years if your ‘consent’ lapses (see note above in section 2 on ‘consent’).

In most cases we won’t totally delete a record of you (see note below in the next section.)

9. What if I don’t want you to use my details anymore?

If you ever change your mind about your marketing choices, you can update your contact preferences at any time by calling us on 0121 522 7007, on or at FREEPOST Rethink Mental Illness, or by returning to a contact form on this website and changing your preferences yourself. Any choices you make will overwrite any previous preferences you told us. This helps us record the most up-to-date information for you.

If you don’t want us to hold your data at all anymore, we have a duty to let you know that the best way for us to be sure we don’t contact you again is to minimise the data we hold (e.g. reduce it to name and last known address) and then ‘block’ those details from contact rather than delete them completely. It’s best practice (from the Information Commissioner’s Office) to hold ‘suppressed’ records rather than to delete completely, so that we can make sure we’re never able to accidentally acquire a person’s details again – that way we can recognise the address and prevent contact to it.

If you have a special reason for us to delete all record of you – just let us know, and of course we can do that.

10. Access rights

You have the right to request copies of certain of your personal information within our custody and control, and details of how we use that information. This is sometimes called a Subject Access Request. If you think any of the personal information we hold about you is inaccurate, you may also request it is corrected. You also have a right, in certain circumstances, to require us to stop processing your personal information.

In relation to all of these rights, please email or write to us at the address below. Please note that we will require proof of identity in order to carry this out, and ask you the scope of the request you’re making, so that we can best help you within the applicable timeframe of one month (in accordance with the Information Commissioner’s Office guidelines).

In certain circumstances (for example where required or permitted by law) we might not be able to provide you with access to some of your personal information, but where appropriate we will notify you of the reasons for this.

11. Using countries outside of the EEA

Most of our data storage and transfer solutions are based in countries within the EEA; however we do use a cloud-based email marketing solution that is based outside of the EEA. All data is stored and transferred in accordance with current Data Protection regulations through contract. Where data is sent outside of EEA, we have agreements in place to ensure the same level of data protection security is applied, e.g. the US privacy Shield. 

12. Online advertising

When we do online (paid search) advertising – this is anonymously targeted at those using websites we think will attract new supporters to us, or at those web users who have shown an interest in the charity or related subjects.  We do not store data received in this way - we place ads according to online behaviours and interests (see Cookie Policy).

We follow Facebook’s and Instagram's strict advertising policies when using that platform, and we only target based on ‘likes’ on our page or similar anonymised data using cookies. We do not ever upload our own supporters’ data to Facebook for advertising purposes, as we do not consider this is a fully ‘opted-in’ position to take.

We do not currently advertise on Twitter but should this change we will update this policy and follow the same standards of quality and protection of your data.

13. Online user experience tracking

We use Hotjar in order to better understand our users’ needs and to optimize this service and experience. Hotjar is a technology service that helps us better understand our users experience (e.g. how much time they spend on which pages, which links they choose to click, what users do and don’t like, etc.) and this enables us to build and maintain our service with user feedback. Hotjar uses cookies and other technologies to collect data on our users’ behavior and their devices (in particular device's IP address (captured and stored only in anonymized form), device screen size, device type (unique device identifiers), browser information, geographic location (country only), preferred language used to display our website). Hotjar stores this information in a pseudonymized user profile. Neither Hotjar nor we will ever use this information to identify individual users or to match it with further data on an individual user. For further details, please see Hotjar’s privacy policy by clicking on this link.

Our Data Controller is Company Secretary Caroline Cannar. Her contact details are or on FREEPOST Rethink London.

If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact us at or 0121 522 7007 or FREEPOST Rethink Mental Illness.

Please use these details to complain about Data Protection practices, and if we don’t resolve your issue to your satisfaction, you can approach The Information Commissioner’s Office on (or if it’s about our fundraising practices in relation to data) you can contact the Fundraising Regulator using their complaints form at or on 0300 999 3407.

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