I’ve heard from a number of people recently asking about patient privacy at Pineapple Support. As a performer myself, as well as someone who has struggled with anxiety and depression, I understand the stigma associated with treatment and take privacy incredibly personally.
At Pineapple Support, all patient information is kept entirely confidential. Any information provided to us, either in the application process or in conversations after, is governed by patient privacy protections like HIPAA.
Because social media has been one of the easiest ways for people to reach us, this has sometimes presented a unique challenge. How do we adequately communicate with those in reaching out to us on social, while still maintaining the strict privacy guidelines? Whether we are DM’d personal information, or asked a question about therapy in a thread, the possibility of an inadvertent violation is too risky.
As a result, we will immediately be moving any conversations about their care off of Twitter and other social media, and immediately move them to our official email.
Our social media presence is vital, and from our earliest days, I wanted us to be accessible. To be a friend, not an anonymous bot. Much of that came naturally. For most of the two years since we founded, we’ve had no staff and no salaries. I’ve occupied nearly every role myself — founder and fundraiser, therapy connector to social media voice.
But even if that helped make us accessible, I don’t want anyone to ever feel that a conversation they’re having with us, whether by DM or tweet, has left them exposed. A patient is free to discuss their condition as openly as they wish. We can not — even in response to a question.
I will be doing a full review of the conversations that I and anyone else on the team have had on Twitter and social media. To anyone who has felt a discussion inappropriate, you have my deepest apologies, and my commitment that we will work to make this better.