Terms and Conditions 

Welcome to RUACH: Emotional & Spiritual Support (“RUACH”). We are very clear in our online presence and forms that we are not a therapeutic service or a professional institution. We are a grassroots initiative that has emerged in a crisis to connect those in need of emotional and spiritual support with volunteer caregivers. Services provided by RUACH are not a substitute for professional mental health care, therapy, or psychological services. Nothing contained on this website or discussed with a caregiver is to be used as medical or other professional advice. Individuals providing volunteer emotional and spiritual support services are not supervised or managed by RUACH. 

Volunteer caregivers in the RUACH network offer short-term supportive conversations. This page contains important information about our supportive services and policies. It also contains summary information about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law that provides privacy protections and patient rights about the use and disclosure of your Protected Health Information (PHI) for the purposes of supportive care operations. By signing your full name using an electronic signature, it will represent an agreement between us to all of the terms and conditions here. 

SUPPORTIVE CARE SERVICES:

As a client in supportive care, you have certain rights and responsibilities that are important for you to understand. There are also limitations to those rights that you should be aware of. These rights and responsibilities as well as the  corresponding limitations are described in the following sections.
Supportive Emotional & Spiritual Care has both risks and benefits. Risks may include experiencing uncomfortable feelings, such as sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness, because the process of supportive or spiritual care often requires discussing the unpleasant aspects of your life.  However, supportive care has been shown to have benefits for individuals who undertake it. It often leads to a significant reduction in feelings of distress, increased satisfaction, greater personal awareness and insight, increased skills for managing stress and resolutions to specific problems. But there are no guarantees about what will happen.

RUACH is a short-term, supportive care initiative which will involve one to six (1-6) conversations. Conversations may include an assessment of your needs. By the end of the conversations, RUACH will discuss with you potential long-term care and support options beyond our scope. If you have questions about a caregiver’s procedures, you should discuss them whenever they arise. If your doubts persist, we will be happy to help you set up a meeting with another caregiver for a second opinion.

SUPPORTIVE CARE CONVERSATIONS:

Supportive care conversations will ordinarily be 30-60 minutes in duration, once per week, at a mutually-agreed upon time for you and your caregiver for one to six (1-6) sessions. The time scheduled for your conversation is assigned to you and you alone. If you need to cancel or reschedule, you must provide your caregiver with 24 hours’ notice. If possible, your caregiver can try to find another time to reschedule the appointment. In addition, you are responsible for attending your conversation on time; if you are late, your conversation will still need to end on time.

PROFESSIONAL RECORDS:

RUACH caregivers are required to keep appropriate records of the supportive care services that they provide. Caregivers keep brief records noting your reasons for seeking supportive care and topics discussed. Except in unusual circumstances that involve danger to yourself, you have the right to a copy of your file. Because these are brief records, they may be misinterpreted and/or upsetting to untrained readers. For this reason, should you wish to review your notes, RUACH recommends that you initially review them with your caregiver or another caregiver in the RUACH network. If a request for access to your records is refused by your caregiver, you have the right to consult with our clinical director. You also have the right to request that a copy of your file be made available to any other health care provider at your written request. 

CONTACTING CAREGIVERS:

Your caregiver may often not immediately be available by phone or email. They do not answer their phone or email when they are with clients or otherwise unavailable. At these times, you may leave a message on their voicemail and your call will be returned as soon as possible, but it may take a day or two for non-urgent matters. If you do not hear from your caregiver, and you feel you cannot wait for a return call or if you feel unable to keep yourself safe, 1) contact your local police department (911) and ask to speak to the mental health worker on call and/or 2) go to your Local Hospital Emergency Room. Caregivers will make every attempt to inform you in advance of planned absences and provide you with the name and phone number of another caregiver so that you may receive supportive care in their absence. If your caregiver or RUACH is unable to reach you after two missed appointments or three phone call attempts, the supportive care relationship will be deemed terminated. 

CRISIS SITUATIONS RUACH:

RUACH is not equipped to handle crisis situations. In case of emergencies, please call 911 or a crisis hotline (1-800-273-8255). A list of additional hotlines for specific situations can be found here or at https://www.pleaselive.org/hotlines/. 

OTHER RIGHTS:

You have the right to considerate, safe, and respectful care, without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity,  citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, or national origin. You have the right to ask questions about any aspects of supportive care and about your caregiver's training and experience. You have the right to expect that caregivers will adhere at all times to a professional caregiver-client relationship. Caregivers are prohibited from engaging in social friendships, companion-like relationships, and/or romantic or intimate relationships with their clients.


CONFIDENTIALITY:

Volunteer caregivers in the RUACH network take confidentiality seriously because we want you to feel comfortable and safe discussing personal information. RUACH providers know information you share is intended for us only and we intend to keep it private.

STEPS RUACH TAKES TO ENSURE CONFIDENTIALITY:

Only the RUACH caregivers  have access to the client information you enter in this form.
In order to provide quality care, RUACH team members may engage in peer consultation and group supervision with other RUACH team members. During these confidential meetings, providers do not share any identifying information and only speak about cases in general terms only for professional training purposes and quality assurance. You may request not to benefit from peer supervision review.  

LIMITS OF CONFIDENTIALITY:

There are a few exceptions to the rule of confidentiality, which may differ depending on your location. Caregivers in the RUACH network are mandated reporters, and as such, caregivers may be legally obligated to reveal some information about their discussion(s) should any or all of the following topics arise:

I) If you are likely to harm/kill yourself or others.
II) If you report abuse of minors, the elderly, and/or people with disabilities.
III) If you are involved in a legal proceeding and the court orders your records.

If any of these situations were to arise, your care provider will discuss them with you if permitted by law.
If you have questions about our confidentiality policy, please speak with your individual RUACH provider or email us at ruachemotionalandspiritualcare@gmail.com.

LIABILITY:

RUACH: Emotional and Spiritual Support (“RUACH”) is a volunteer service and participation in any activities or services by RUACH is done entirely at one’s own risk. You hereby release, waive, acquit, and forever discharge RUACH, its owners, caregivers, officers, directors, board members, volunteers, participants, and any agents, successors, assigns, personal representatives, executors, heirs, and employees from every claim, suit action, demand, or right to compensation for damages claimed or that you may have arising out of your own acts or omissions or acts and omissions of any member of RUACH or otherwise related to services provided hereunder as a result of any advice given or harm otherwise resulting from the services contemplated by this agreement. No member of RUACH or any caregiver can be held liable for any damage incurred through participation in the program. Participants assume all related risks, both known and unknown during participation in any of RUACH’s activities.