Terms & Conditions
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS WEBSITE.
By using this site, you signify your assent (agreement) to these Terms and Conditions. If you do not agree to all of the Terms and Conditions described here, do not use this website.
The contents of this site, including text, graphics, images, video, audio, and all other content and material are for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein this site is or should be considered or used as a substitute for professional mental health or medical advice, diagnoses, treatment, or otherwise.
Do not disregard the professional advice of a trained and qualified mental health or other medical professional who you have personally interacted with because of something you read, saw, heard, or otherwise online, including on this site. We strongly encourage you to seek the professional advice of a licensed mental health professional or your physician with any questions you may have about mental health conditions, emotional issues, or other medical concerns. In the case of an emergency, please do not hesitate to call 911 immediately.
The information presented or provided through this site is done so on an "as-is" basis, without any warranty, express or implied as to the accurateness, completeness, or otherwise. Any access to this site is voluntary and at your own risk.
Encouragemint may provide descriptions of diagnosable mental health conditions and/or non-diagnosable, emotionally stressful issues. The information provided here is not complete and is intentionally simplified in order to provide information in a more comprehensible manner to the layperson.
No such information contained on this site, such as text, graphics, images, audio, video, or otherwise, nor any email, phone, instant messaging, text messaging, video chat, forum posts, or other forms of communication with website visitors, staff members, volunteers, or other such individuals associated in any way with Encouragemint should be considered or used as a substitute for professional mental health or medical advice, diagnoses, treatment, or otherwise.
Wherein Encouragemint may offer services from individuals who are themselves trained and qualified mental health professionals, nothing can replace a comprehensive, in-person, assessment and the ongoing clinical relationship that should be developed with a properly trained, qualified, and licensed clinician. It is alone in this type of setting that a proper diagnosis and treatment plan should be discussed.
Providing a proper diagnosis requires years of training, experience, and the ability to conduct a full and proper clinical assessment that includes examining a wide array of variables. A misdiagnosis has the potential to do more harm than good. Nothing on this website, nor anything or anyone in any way affiliated with Encouragemint, including clinicians (either volunteer or paid) brought on by Encouragemint are permitted to provide a diagnosis.
Any discussions pertaining to a diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, medications, etiology of symptoms, and the like that take place on or through Encouragemint's website or in connection with anyone representing or otherwise associated with Encouragemint, such as but not limited to, employees, contractors, staff members, officers, directors, administrators, forum members, forum moderators, and users of Encouragemint services, should be considered to be the personal opinions of that party, and do not represent the views, opinions, perspectives or otherwise of Encouragemint.
In the event that text, graphics, images, audio, video, commentary of others, posts on a forum, comments by a staff member or volunteer, or other such information, communication, or otherwise causes you any anxiety, concern, worry, or otherwise, whether suspected or actual, please seek out the professional assistance of a trained, qualified, and licensed clinician in your area who you can speak with in person in order to discuss your unique and specific situation. All people and all situations are unique, which is why it is impossible for a website or even a trained professional with limited information to provide a proper diagnosis, prognosis, and/or treatment recommendation.
Mental Health Conditions and Emotional Issues
Encouragemint has a series of articles on various emotional and mental health topics. For the sake of distinction, on this site we distinguish formal diagnosable mental health conditions from non-diagnosable, yet still emotionally significant emotional issues.
The information on this website has been intentionally written in a manner that is not overly technical, while the terms used here are usually, but not always the formal and proper terminology that would be used by professionals. This is done so as to be informative and more understandable for people who are not in the field of mental health.
This information is not designed to replace a proper clinical assessment performed by a qualified professional. Any such descriptions on this website are designed simply to be informative and descriptive to the layperson. They are not intended nor should they be used to self-diagnose or to diagnose those around you.
Additionally, these descriptions are not designed to be technically proper and precise in every sense. The specific language and criteria used here may not be complete or precisely the same as what a professional would use. Descriptions are not exhaustive of all potential symptoms and do not typically contain information about the number of criteria necessary or the duration of time which symptoms must be present in order to make a formal diagnosis. Changes made are mostly superficial and done so for the sake of ease of comprehension.
Encouragemint is pleased to provide a listing of third-party resources for the benefit of our site visitors and members. All such services whether posted on this website, posted in the Forums, listed in an article, or otherwise shared are done so simply as a courtesy.
These resources, whether they be a social service agency, non-profit organization, for-profit corporation, unincorporated, or otherwise and whether they be a telephone hotline, an information line, a website link, an email service, instant messaging service, text messaging, in-person or remotely provided service, or otherwise are not endorsed by Encouragemint. We provide no assurance of the quality of their services or the accuracy of the information they may provide.
To that end, Encouragemint is not responsible for the content or services provided by any such resource or service provider. Further, we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any hotlines, online chats, text messages, or other forms of communication they offer, nor the qualifications of the personnel working for these service providers. You are encouraged to use discretion when speaking with or providing any personal information to any of the resources listed.
Additionally, Encouragemint is not responsible for situations in which the offerings of a resource may have been changed or been eliminated. Likewise, website links and phone numbers may also change over time. Consider further that with a little research you may be able to find on your own other resources of equal or greater value and quality than those presented here.
Being safe when using the Internet is a responsibility that we must all take seriously. Encouragemint does not screen members in the forums, moderators, advertisers, article authors, or other individuals whom you may come into contact with directly or indirectly through the use of this site for a history of criminal or other potentially harmful behavior.
It is important to remember that there are inherent limits to confidentiality and anonymity when using technology, including the various services available on this website or otherwise available through Encouragemint. Websites are publicly available and thus all posted content, including forum posts, article comments, and otherwise may be visible to others. We offer no presumption or guarantee of privacy for information that you voluntarily and publicly post.
Please use your discretion when choosing to share any personal information with another person you've met online. We highly discourage you from posting your real name, street address, personal email address, current place of employment or education, phone numbers, or other similar pieces of information about yourself or other people in your life including but not limited to family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
Please also keep in mind that it is always possible that a person may choose to be less than fully honest with you. A person for example may insist that they have a certain background or area of expertise that they do not have, may offer an opinion that they present as a fact, may lie about their age, gender, location, or intentions, etc.
We cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shared by any member, visitor, or user of this website and are not responsible or liable for any misdeeds, misguidance, or inaccurate information of any kind you may receive, whether intentional or unintentional. We encourage you to use your own discretion and not to meet in person with those you’ve originally met online.
Additionally, there are inherent risks associated with people who may present themselves online as trained professionals or as otherwise qualified to provide clinical advice, treatment, diagnostic information, or other such opinions and views. It is important that you consider the source of the information you receive. Even well-meaning individuals can be mistaken or misled, and not everyone is well-meaning.
You are encouraged to seek the consultation and advice of properly trained, qualified, and licensed professionals in your local area whom you can meet with directly as opposed to relying on the presumed experience and qualifications of someone posting online. Proper clinical, medical, psychiatric, and/or psychological treatment is best provided following a thorough in-person assessment.
Verifying a person's credentials, asking for recommendations from those you know and trust, and asking questions to get to know a treatment provider is also encouraged.
Encouragemint is not responsible or liable for any inappropriate or harmful actions that may result in having interacted with someone through this website. This includes, but is not limited to physical harm or injury, physical or sexual abuse of any kind, stalking or cyberstalking, damage to property, theft, financial or other loss, emotional pain and suffering, trauma, diagnoses or prognoses provided that may or may not be accurate, behavioral treatment recommendations, and harm or injury incurred by following the recommendations or suggestions of others such as but not limited to taking medication, partaking in alternative and complementary treatments, using home remedies, and otherwise.
Website Users Under Age Thirteen
Encouragemint supports the Children's Online Privacy Protections Act of 1998 which aims to protect children under thirteen years of age who may disclose personal information about themselves online. The Rule, typically abbreviated COPPA, encourages and helps parents and guardians to know what information about their child(ren) is being collected online through websites and other services such as mobile apps.
In line with COPPA, all individuals under the age of thirteen must obtain parental/guardian consent prior to participating in the Encouragemint Forums, registering with the website, or otherwise providing any personal information. Parents and guardians may also obtain information about what information has been collected and/or rescind their consent at any time.
Automatic Removal of Personal Information
While COPPA regulations may be designed to protect children, they do not pertain to information about a child provided by an adult, nor to personal information about an adult. That being said, Encouragemint seeks to preserve the privacy and security of all people, regardless of their age. Thus any personally identifiable information posted on Encouragemint’s website that we are made aware of is subject to removal.
Encouragemint will frequently remove any information on its website and under its power to do so that contains a person’s last name, physical street address, town/city of residence, phone number, social security number, or other similar information. Encouragemint may remove such information at its own discretion, but is under no obligation to do so. Do not assume that any personal information about yourself will be removed, as we may not be aware that it has been posted in the first place or realize that the information is what you yourself may deem personal. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like us to remove this sort of personal information about you found on our website.
Encouragemint personnel consist of multiple individuals with various backgrounds and skill sets. Not all personnel are clinically trained or have a background in social services, mental health, or a similar field. Only select individuals have a clinical background and are capable and qualified to provide clinical services.
However due to the inherent limitations of communicating through the Internet, even clinical personnel will not be able to provide all services that an in-person therapist or other clinical professional might otherwise be able to offer. Any interactions with clinical and/or with non-clinical personnel are strictly consultative. Any such sessions or conversations with clinical personnel should be focused primarily on assessment and referral. They do not constitute a clinical therapist-client relationship regardless of the number of sessions or conversations had, the content discussed, or other such similar variables.
There are no third-party investors or other such partners with a financial interest or incentive in the educational information or resources provided on this website.
Use of Content
This website and all of its content may be used strictly for personal and non-commercial purposes.
Warranties and Limitation of Liability
This website, its content and services are presented for use by the general public without warranty or guarantee. Neither Encouragemint nor its employees, contractors, staff members, volunteers, moderators, directors, officers, advisors, or other representatives acting on its behalf are liable to any user or anyone else for any decision made or action taken based upon reliance upon the information contained on or provided through this website and/or the services of Encouragemint.
We do not make any express or implied warranties, representations, or endorsements of any kind whatsoever (including without limitation, warranties of title or non-infringement on third party rights, or any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose) with regard to the service, or with respect to any information, product, service, content, merchandise, or other material provided on or through this website and/or the larger Encouragemint entity.
Encouragemint does not expressly or implicitly warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, correctness, timeliness, or usefulness of any information, content, services, or other material provided on or through this website, the larger Encouragemint entity, or any third party to whom services may be outsourced or referred. Encouragemint further makes no warranty or guarantee that the website will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free.
In no event shall Encouragemint be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, but not limited to, and without limitation, incidental and consequential damages, personal injury/wrongful death, emotional stress, strain, or trauma, lost profits, or damages resulting from lost data or business interruption) resulting from the use or inability to use this site, its contents, services, or otherwise, whether based on warranty, contract, tort, or any other legal theory, and whether or not Encouragemint is advised of the possibility of such damages.
Furthermore, Encouragemint and its personnel, representatives, and other such individuals are not responsible or liable for instances of self-harm or harm caused to or by others, for any communications that go unanswered in a timely manner or at all, such as may be the case with a phone call received but not returned, an email that is never received due to technical issues, or other such causes without limit, nor for actions taken or not taken by anyone acting through or on behalf of Encouragemint and its website, such as but not limited to forum users, moderators, paid staff, volunteers, administrators, article authors, and other such personnel whose actions are the sole responsibility of themselves. This includes cases where a licensed counselor, therapist, or other such clinician provides harmful or misinformation, acts in a manner harmful to others, or fails to act responsibility, legally, or otherwise. In all such cases these actions and behaviors shall be the sole responsibility and liability of that individual and not Encouragemint or its other personnel.
Jurisdiction and Governing Law
You expressly agree that exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute with Encouragemint or in any way relating to your use of this website, resides in the courts of the State of New Jersey, and you further agree and expressly consent to the exercise of personal jurisdiction in the courts of the State of New Jersey in connection with any such dispute including any claim involving Encouragemint, or its affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, staff members, contractors, volunteers, board of directors, officers, advisors, administrators, telecommunication providers, content providers, and all other such personnel or representatives.
These Terms and Conditions are governed by the internal substantive laws of the State of New Jersey, without respect to its conflict of laws principles. If any provision of these Terms and Conditions is found to be invalid by any court having competent jurisdiction, the invalidity of such provision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of these Terms and Conditions, which shall remain in full force and effect. No waiver of any of these Terms and Conditions shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or condition or any other term or condition.
Encouragemint reserves the right to change, alter, or otherwise amend this policy at any time and without notice. By continuing to use this website and the services contained herein though Encouragemint, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.
Amended: May 7, 2020