Mental Health/Alcohol & Drug Confidentiality
In general, the privacy of all communications between a student and a counselor is protected by law, and we can only release information about our work to others with your written permission. There are, however, a few exceptions. For example, if we believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, we may be required to file a report with the appropriate state agency. If we believe that a student in counseling is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, we may be required to notifying the potential victim or contact the security or the sheriff's department. If a student in counseling threatens to harm himself/herself, we may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection. In some legal proceedings, the court may also order our testimonies if a judge determines that the issues demand it. Finally, as our profession requires, we regularly consult with other professional colleagues about our work. In no case during these consultations do we or our colleagues reveal the identity of the people we see in our counseling sessions without written permission.
The only people who have access to your medical files are the members of the Wellness Center's medical staff. All medical staff members of the Wellness Center are bound by the laws of confidentiality and have signed statements obligating them to keep all information confidential. All of the information in your medical records is kept strictly confidential and cannot be shared with anyone else ~ either at the college, for example, or with your parents ~ without your expressed written permission. Limitations to medical confidentiality are similar to those included under "Mental Health Confidentiality" and include circumstances of potential hospitalization, legal proceedings, and notification in the event of perceived harm to oneself or to others.