Confidentiality, Anonymity, Privacy

2009 April 19

We want everyone to feel safe at MentalHealthCamp, and free to express themselves as much as possible.

To that end, Raul and I thought we should work out some ideas on confidentiality during the actual camp. First I thought I’d just quickly throw together a few ideas but as I’m doing this I really become of all the nuances that this entails.

So what I’d like to do is to propose this draft – I’d REALLY like to have some input from you! Please comment!

  • As a participant at MentalHealthCamp, please feel free to identify yourself however you wish – if you’d like to remain anonymous, no need to write down your real name on the ubiquitous “Hello My Name Is” tag (sorry, we don’t have the money for fancy lanyards 🙂
  • We will ask photographers to be mindful of the fact that some of the participants may be people who do not wish their faces to be shown in the media (that includes the internet)
  • There will be members of the mainstream media present. We will ask them to direct themselves to our lovely PR person Cathy Browne whenever possible. Cathy will then put them in touch with people who are comfortable discussing matters with mainstream media
  • If you are approached for an interview, please remember that whatever you say is your choice. You can talk freely as much as you want, you can decline, or you can get guidance from Cathy as to how to respond
  • We are hoping to record two or three sessions, ones that promise to be of a general manner where presenters and participants are likely to delve less into personal stories than in other sessions. When you participate in such a session, please be aware that you may become famous!
  • At the beginning of each session, we will remind people that a) we need to respect confidentiality wherever we can, b) social media is all about transparency, c) we will try to marry the two as best as we can and d) notwithstanding a) and c), be as careful as you need to be!
7 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 April 19

    Well crafted Isabella. Maybe have some local podcaster audio record the other sessions that aren’t video taped.

    It’s also important for people to keep in mind that because someone attends MHC09 doesn’t necessarily mean they have a MH condition, they may have a family member, friend or work colleague with one.

    Pete Quily’s last blog post..John Scrivin’s Response to His Vancouver Sun Adult ADHD Article

  2. 2009 April 19

    Addendum to Isabella’s great post – it would be VERY helpful if potential attendees mentioned potential concerns they might have with the issues mentioned above (or if commenters could mention potential concerns, even if they can’t attend).

    Raul’s last blog post..Twitter as an online social space to hang out virtually and enable offline interaction

  3. 2009 April 19

    A twitter comment from Pete Quily: We should talk about the last point right at registration as well.

  4. 2009 April 19
    Adrienne permalink

    You know, I think this almost goes too far. It sounds like there may be clamouring media types all over the place. I hope it doesn’t scare anyone away.

    I don’t think there should be a de facto expectation of anonymity though. That’s part of what coming together as a group is. One doesn’t have to share his/her story/diagnosis. I, for one, expect respect. I don’t expect – or even want – anonymity. But attendees are different from presenters. Anything an attendee wants to share via a question or over coffee is completely under his/her control. Attendees aren’t expected to share. I also think that people have to realize that at any sort of conference/camp, it’s about learning and exchanging ideas. I for one, will probably take some of the things I learn at #mentalhealthcamp and share them with others or maybe even blog about them. Just like I do at any other workshop/conference/camp etc…

    Just my two cents!

  5. 2009 April 19

    A social media topical event and privacy, anonymity. Hmmm, tricky that. Adrienne has good thoughts on this. It would seem to me that an awareness statement to all attendees indicating that the event by its very nature will probably be shared electronically both during and post-event.
    Quite a lot of energy could be (mis)spent on ensuring that anonymity is preserved for those requesting it. What would the oops-public-disclosure-happened follow up plan be? Any liability issues, if you have provided assurances re privacy/anonymity?

    Just thinking out loud. Wish I could be there – have commitments already.

  6. 2009 April 20

    I actually lean more towards the assumption that comments and participation should be confidential. Perhaps I say this as a psychologist who wants my clients to be cautious and conservative about their own self-care. 🙂

    I recognize that the point of the conference is ending stigma, but I think it would be hard for many people to relax, share ideas, and get what they need from attending this conference if the default assumption is that all participation will be shared publicly on the net.

    I think it would be lovely if there were some easy way to easily “opt in,” or “opt out,” in terms of letting folks know how you feel about being quoted. Something along the lines of name tag color. Choosing to wear a red name tag would mean, “Do not quote me on the web at all.” Green name tag could mean, “Please feel free to attach my name to any blogging you do about this panel.” I suppose there could also be a Yellow name tag for, “Please check with me before you publish my name.”

    This would also make it easy for people to opt in or opt out for different panels and topics and puts the power solely in their own hands to identify how they feel about it (assuming all play along).

    What do people think of this?

    Keely Kolmes’s last blog post..Social Networking, Visibility, and the Therapeutic Alliance: My Presentation at Mental Health Camp in Vancouver

  7. 2009 April 20

    One idea: at registration, put colour coded stickers on people who don’t want to be on camera.

    Sand’s last blog post..Creative Minds

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