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Canteen Connect – Product Information and Terms of Use


Name of digital mental health service: Canteen Connect

Name of service provider: Canteen

Date of last service update: Canteen Connect Version 2 was released in 2019.

Canteen Connect is subject to a continuous safety and quality assurance process that informs ongoing enhancements and maintenance as required.

Date this form was completed: March 2024

Acknowledgement and acceptance of Terms of Use

Before you use we recommend that you read:

• our privacy policy;

• our terms and conditions of use, as set out here which, together, are the Terms and Conditions that apply to your use of our website.

By using this website, you agree that you will use the website while following the Terms and Conditions.

Except for which may be accessed by users in Australia and New Zealand, our website is intended for use in Australia only.

For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions, “Canteen”, “Canteen Connect”“us”, “our” and “we” refers to The Australian Organisation For Young People Living With Cancer (ABN 77 052 040 516) (Canteen), as operator of this website, and “you” and “your” refers to you, the client, visitor, website user or person using our website.

We may change part or all of the Terms and Conditions at any time. The most current Terms and Conditions will always be posted on this website. If you continue to use our website, this means you accept the Terms and Conditions that are current at that time. If you do not agree with any of the Terms and Conditions (or any changes made to them), you should immediately stop using and accessing the website

1. Is this service for me?

Canteen Connect offers free cancer support and an online community tailored for young people aged 12-25. This platform provides you with the opportunity to connect with peers impacted by cancer, across Australia and New Zealand who can relate to your experiences 24/7. Engage in online chat with professional counsellors, participate in our social events to meet new friends, or simply connect with others from the comfort of your own couch

1.1 What health conditions does Canteen Connect help with?

Canteen Connect is appropriate for young people aged 12-25 years impacted by cancer seeking to access peer and psychosocial support.

1.2 Who is Canteen Connect intended for?

Canteen Connect is for people who are:

• Aged 12-25 years

• Impacted by cancer: people who have or have had cancer, people whose parents or siblings have or have had cancer, people with a cancer like illness and young people with partners who have or have had cancer.

• Read English with ease

1.3 What kind of assistance does Canteen Connect offer?

Canteen Connect aims to support young people to experience improved psychological well-being by providing them with psycho-educational resources, peer support groups, and access to online counselling sessions.

What you’ll find on Canteen Connect:

People Like Me – Find and connect with other people who have similar cancer stories

Discussions – Join conversations about anything and everything – from cancer through to your favourite movies, music and games

Events – Change up your day and register your interest for one of our events. You can meet other young people who really understand what you’re going through and learn new ways to cope with cancer.

Counselling chat – Counsellors are available online six days a week

1.4 How is Canteen Connect delivered?

Canteen Connect is a fully responsive online program that can be accessed on desktop computers or mobile devices or via app.

1.5 Are health professionals involved in delivering the service?

Canteen Connect online chat function and forum moderation is delivered by a team of qualified professionals including social workers, counsellors and psychologists and other allied health professionals.

1.6 When is Canteen Connect available?

• Forums are available 24/7

• Online counselling is available 10am-8pm Mon-Thu, 10am-6pm Fri, and 11am-5pm Sat (closed Sunday), all Sydney time/AEDT.

1.7 How much does the service cost? Is there any ongoing cost?

Canteen Connect is free to use but does require a working internet connection and a small amount of data per session. An average Counselling session will use 5MB of data. Each page of the website will use an average of 2MB of data. with an estimated cost of $0.009/MB

1.8 How can I access Canteen Connect?

To access Canteen Connect, users will need:

• A desktop computer or mobile device (smart phone or tablet). Please see below for further detail in relation to device recommendations.

• A stable internet connection (Recommended internet speed: 5 mbps and above)


• Recommended internet browsers for accessing Canteen Connect: Chrome, Edge and Fire Fox.

• Recommended screen resolution: 1920 X 1080.

System Requirements:

• 4 GB RAM.

• Internet download/upload speed 1Mbps.

• Windows 10 and above / Latest Mac OS.

Mobile Devices:

• Most devices released in the last 3 years.

• Latest iOS / Android

Recommended Browsers:

• Google Chrome (latest version).

• Microsoft Edge (latest version).

• Apple Safari (latest version).

• FireFox (latest version).

1.9 Can I access Canteen Connect anonymously?

Yes, you can choose to register under a pseudonym to access the online forums. This may be in the form of registering under a different name, creating a specific email address for using Canteen Connect and/or choosing an anonymous username.

If you wish to access online counselling, you will need to provide your real name so counsellors can obtain informed consent and ensure that if there are risks to your safety you can be located and protected.

1.10 Does Canteen Connect allow my carer, family member or support person to work with me to use the service?

A parent/carer can support in helping young people aged 12-25 in creating an account.

2. Will I benefit if I use this service?

2.1 Is there any independent scientific evidence of benefit from using Canteen Connect?

Canteen’s Impact team has researched usefulness, acceptability and effectiveness of Canteen Connect in supporting users experiencing difficult feelings due to their cancer experience. 73% of participants reported a reduction in feelings of sadness, with 66% reporting decreased worry, 65% experiencing reduced anxiety, 80% feeling better understood, and 71% reporting improved feelings of connection.

2.2 Is Canteen Connect endorsed by a government or professional body?

Canteen Connect is promoted via several credible government and non-government bodies and services such as:

• The Australian Government Department of Health's 'Head to Health' website.

• The healthdirect website funded by the Australian Government.

• The eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) project funded by the Australian Government.

• Canteen Connect online chat and counselling is funded by the Department of Health.

3. Could this service do me harm?

3.1 Are there any precautions or safety warnings related to this service?

Canteen Connect should not replace the advice of a doctor. If you’re having thoughts and feelings that are concerning you, please consider talking to someone you trust or reach out to your GP. If you’d like talk to someone now, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. We take the safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable persons seriously. Whilst we have measures in place to ensure the safety of our users, we are unable to eliminate all risks of potential harm. Should you have concerns about the safety of yourself or anyone else please contact emergency services if it is a crisis or speak to a trusted person or professional.

3.2 Has anyone reported concerns or adverse health events after using this service?

No, Canteen is not aware of any reports of adverse health events or consumer concerns about Canteen Connect.

4. Should I trust this service?

4.1 What is the business model for the service provider?

Canteen is an independent not-for-profit organisation and registered charity, with offices in all Australian major cities. Our head office is in Newtown, NSW.

4.2 How does the service make money?

Canteen Connect is available at no cost to users and generate income.

5. Is the service easy to use?

5.1 Is there any independent research on how easy it is to use this service?

Canteen’s Impact Team has conducted research into the usability of Canteen Connect, with 71% of participants rating the current version of Canteen Connect as ‘easy to use’. We complete regular audits to make sure that Canteen is accessible in alignment with commonly used assistive technologies and standards for web page design and regularly make service improvements based on these results.

5.2 How much time will it take me to use this service as suggested?

Canteen Connect can be accessed as much or as little as suits you. Some people benefit from actively participating in forum posts and chats, while others prefer to read forum posts and information provided. This will depend on you and what you are hoping to get out of Canteen Connect.

5.3 How long will it take to get results from using this service?

On average most people access Canteen Connect for 6 months or more and log-in once a week.

5.4 Were people with lived experience involved in developing the service?

Canteen Connect was developed using a participatory design process, covering a needs assessment, idea generation, and implementation evaluation. People from the target audience have been involved and continue to inform the ongoing quality and relevance of Canteen Connect.

Canteen Connect Version 1.0: Released in 2014. Feedback collected from users in relation to the acceptability and appropriateness of Version 1.0 was taken into consideration to inform the current available version of Canteen Connect.

Canteen Connect Version 2.0: Released in 2019 and involved user experience updates including mobile responsiveness and the ability to send private messages. Updates were made based on feedback collected from users during qualitative workshops.

Continuous safety and quality assurance: User surveys are conducted annually, and the Connect Consumer Engagement Group provides feedback on improvements and enhancements to Canteen Connect. All feedback received from users via is also recorded and considered within this ongoing process. Most recently, a user survey was conducted in June-July 2023.

5.5 What do other users think of this service?

The most liked features of Canteen Connect from the 2023 Service user survey were:

• “I find Canteen Connect to be quite helpful with finding information and resources”.

• “You can find out more information about the same type of cancer off of other people and hear their views about the cancer”.

• “I find the counsellors very helpful and supportive in helping me navigate the different stages of the cancer journey”.

• “Having the event details easy to access”.

• “Being able to talk to others who have been through it like me”.

• 71% of users found Canteen Connect helped them feel listened to

• 67% of users found Canteen connect helped them to feel more connected.

5.6 Will this service link with other health services?

Canteen Connect is not explicitly integrated into other health services, however, Canteen Connect can:

• Be used in conjunction with face-to-face or telehealth therapy providing a supplementary level of support.

Canteen Connect has been designed as an online community for young people impacted by Cancer. If you are accessing Canteen Connect forums, and ad-hoc chat, but would like to access Canteen and Cancer Hub’s other services you can be referred into Cancer Hub. From there you will complete an Intake Assessment and may be referred to other Cancer Hub or external services as appropriate.

When moderating discussion forum posts we will provide users with suggestions of appropriate health and community services should it appear relevant to the situation described.

6. Who will have access to my personal data?

6.1 What information does the service collect about me?

When you register for Canteen Connect we will collect your:

• Name

• Email address

• Phone number

• Post code

• Cultural identity including if you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander/ Māori or Pasifika identity

• Gender identity

• Health information: you can choose to provide information regarding your cancer experience on forums.

6.2 Who owns that data?

Canteen owns this data.

6.3 Who is that information shared with and why?

Information is automatically shared across Canteen’s internal client management system, Salesforce. This is to create a client record of active service users. We do integrate data with systems needed for Canteen Connect functionality and some user data is sent to these services:

• Create Send - Emailing Service

• Algolia - Search Indexing services

• Twillio - SMS sending

• Intercom- chat

6.4 Where is information about me stored?

All data is stored in Australia in secure AWS servers. We do not work with overseas agencies and production databases are not accessible to overseas developers. Where contracts exist with overseas developers, they do not have access to production databases.

6.5 Can I easily share my information and results if I want to?

Posts on the forum are locked and only available for other registered users to view when logged into Canteen Connect. This is to protect your privacy, and the privacy of others who are sharing their personal experiences on Canteen Connect.

6.6 Can I save the personal information I enter on my device without it being shared with the provider?

No, when you create and register for an account, or write forum content this is automatically shared with Canteen and published in our secure AWS servers.

6.7 Can I review and/or delete data that has been collected about me?

You can withdraw consent at any time as outlined in our Privacy policy section 1. ‘You may withdraw or withhold your consent at any time in relation to collection, storage or distribution of personal and/or sensitive information. This decision can be made without fear of negative consequences and will not adversely impact your relationship with Canteen

6.8 Does the service have a data-sharing (privacy) policy?

Yes, you can view our privacy policy here:

6.9 What security measures are in place to protect my personal information?

Canteen applies multiple layers of protection and are improving our overall security posture. Examples are:

• Principle of least privilege

• Multifactor Authentication

• Patch application to minimise vulnerabilities

• Penetration Tests

• Hashing of passwords

Canteen Connect team members all follow the below policies:

• Information & Data Security Policy 102023.pdf

• Service User Data Protection in Salesforce Procedure 082022.pdf

• Digital Services Website Data Security 102022.pdf

• Internet and Communications Tools Policy 102023.pdf

7. Who can I contact with questions or concerns about this service?

Get in touch with the Canteen team at You can submit a complaint or provide feedback on our website or call 02 9007 0190 and request to speak with a staff member related to Connect.

7.1 Where can I go if I have concerns about this service?

• For privacy/security issues contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) -

• For complaints against a health service contact your state or territory health complaints organisation -

• For complaints against an individual registered health professional contact the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Authority (AHPRA) -

• For complaints about misleading claims contact Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) - consumer-complaint.

Canteen Connect Product Information Statement March 2024