Website and social media privacy policy

Our commitment to your privacy

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission (MHWC) is committed to protecting the privacy of your personal and health information.

We must comply with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 (the Act) when dealing with your information, including the information sharing principles in the Act.

We must also comply with other laws, including the Health Records Act 2001, the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.

We will not disclose your personal or health information in a way that identifies you, unless you consent or we are authorised or required to do so by law.

What is covered by this policy?

This policy explains how the MHWC handles your personal and health information as you access and interact with our website and our social media sites.

Our separate privacy policy details how and when we collect, use and disclose personal and health information in our work with you.

What is personal and health information?

Personal information is recorded information that can identify a living person.

Health information is information that can identify a person that relates to the person’s physical, mental or psychological health, disability or genetic make-up. It also includes information about the health services provided, or that will be provided, to a person.

What information do we collect through our website and social media pages?

We may collect personal or health information if you provide it to us through our website and social media channels. For example, we will collect information you provide if you:

  • complete a complaint form online

  • subscribe to receive information from us

  • participate in an online survey, event or activity

  • send us a private message by one of our social media platforms.

Some personal information is also automatically collected through the website and third party software vendors as set out below.

What do we do with the information we collect?

We use and disclose personal and health information

  • for the purpose we describe on our website or social media channels when you provide the information
  • as needed for the operation, administration, development or enhancement of our website
  • in accordance with our privacy policy.

If we conduct an activity through social media, we will explain whether you need to be identified and how we will use the information.

We only add email addresses and any other contact details you provide to our mailing list with your consent.

Our social media rules

We have house rules that apply to our social media sites, including Meta, LinkedIn and other social media platforms we may use. We may moderate or remove content in order to protect a person’s privacy, however, we don’t control these platforms or who can access our sites.

Automatic collection through the website

Some personal information is automatically collected as a result of your visit to our website. This information is collected using software techniques such as web server log file analysis, cookies and web beacons.

Use of cookies

We use first-party cookies and JavaScript code to collect information about visitors to this website. We use these to track how our visitors interact with this website, including where they came from, what they did on the site and whether they completed any transactions on the site.

If you don't want to have cookies placed on your computer, you can disable them using your web browser. You will need to customise each web browser you use to turn off cookie tracking.

If you opt out of using cookies, you will still have access to all the information and resources provided by this website, though some features may not work as expected.

Automatic collection by third party software vendors

This website uses several online tools to measure website use, which are provided by third party software vendors. We use these tools to help us make our site better. When you visit our website, your web browser automatically sends certain information to these software providers.

We use software by third parties, including:

For further information on how these third party software vendors handle your personal information, please review their privacy policies. Personal information may be provided to third parties when accessing this website. Information that may be shared to third parties includes:

  • network location and IP address
  • the date and time of your visit to our website
  • the types of web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari) and operating system (e.g. Windows 10, Mac OS X etc.) you are using
  • flash version, JavaScript support, screen resolution and screen colour processing ability
  • referring site details (such as the URL that you came through to arrive at our website)
  • page visited and the time spent on each page
  • documents downloaded and search terms used
  • the forms accessed on our website
  • unique device identifier
  • cookies and data about which page you visited
  • device information, hardware model, operating system information, app version, app usage, debugging information, browser information
  • geo-location information (if enabled by user)
  • may assign a unique user identifier.

The information we disclose to some of our third-party vendors may travel outside Victoria. We take steps to ensure that when your personal information travels, privacy protections travel with it.

Third party software vendors may alter how they collect and handle personal information at any time.

Use and disclosure of web analytics data

Use of web analytics data

We use web analytics data for statistical purposes, such as to analyse, measure, and report on data about our website traffic and visits. This information helps us understand general user trends at an aggregate level, and improve our website, content, and user experience.

We may also use this information for security audits to protect against threats from hackers or other security purposes.

We do not use this information to identify you or match it with any other personal information that we may collect from you, unless required to do so as part of an internal investigation or for a law enforcement-related purpose, in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (PDP Act).

Your site visit data is collected under the authority of Information Privacy Principle 1.1 of the PDP Act for the purposes stated above.

Disclosure of web analytics data

Apart from the third party tools described in this policy, we do not disclose your site visit data to any other third parties without your consent, unless we are required or authorised to do so by law. In the event of an investigation into suspected unlawful or improper activity, a law enforcement or government agency may use its legal authority to inspect our web server’s records (e.g. in relation to hacking or abusive messages).

Can I opt out of the collection of web analytics data?

You cannot opt out of the automatic collection of information that is used for analytical purposes, however you may choose to disable cookies or delete any individual cookie. If you choose to disable cookies, the website may not function fully and your ability to browse, read, and download information contained on our website may be impaired. However, you may still access our services by contacting our office by other methods such as telephone, email, or mail.

You can enable a “Do Not Track” setting on your browser to help protect your privacy. When Do Not Track is tuned on, your browser will send a Do Not Track request to the sites you visit, and to the third parties whose content is hosted on those sites. However, many websites will still collect and use your browsing data regardless of the Do Not Track Request. This depends on individual sites’ privacy practices. Sending a Do Not Track request does not guarantee privacy protection.

Instructions on how to enable the Do Not Track setting:

You can also opt out of tracking and website analytics using a Google browser plugin.

This policy does not apply to any external websites that are linked on the website.

We are not responsible for the privacy practices or content of external websites. When you visit other websites, we recommend you read the privacy statements or policies of these websites before providing personal information.

Security of your personal information

Under the PDP Act, we have a responsibility to protect your personal information. We take reasonable steps to make sure that your personal information is protected from misuse, loss, and unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure. Access to systems, applications, and the information that we collect is limited to authorised staff members only.

Further, any personal information that we collect and use for identifying user trends (for example, IP address) is aggregated and anonymised when generating reports.

Access and correction

You may request access to, or correction of, documents that contain your personal or health information which are in our possession. For information on how to make a request for access or correction, please contact us via the details below.

In some cases, requests for access or correction will be handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).

Questions and complaints

If you have a question about this document, or want to ask us about your personal or health information or make a complaint about how we handled this information, please contact us via:

You also have the right to take your complaint to someone else.

If your complaint concerns how we handled your health information, you can complain to the Health Complaints Commissioner.

Health Complaints Commissioner

If your complaint concerns how we handled your personal information, you can complain to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner.

Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner