Confidentiality and Limitations
All counseling and psychiatry services are confidential. This means that no information is released to individuals outside the Counseling Service without the student’s consent.
There are certain exceptions to this rule, as permitted by law. Our experience is that these exceptions arise infrequently. For example, we may disclose confidential information when we judge that there is a strong possibility of serious harm being inflicted by you on another person or on yourself. Please note that suicidal thoughts are more common among college students than you might think. National surveys have shown that about nine percent of college students have serious thoughts of suicide in a given year. Such thoughts, when disclosed to our staff, are confidential. It is only when staff believe that a student is likely to act on his/her suicidal thoughts that staff might involve an appropriate third party to help safeguard the student.
Each student who meets with one of our professional staff is provided a complete list of the exceptions to confidentiality before the first counseling session. The complete list of exceptions is on our informed consent document, Information About Our Services, on the Forms page.
The Counseling Service follows professional standards of the American Psychological Association. Regarding confidentiality, these standards prevent us from telling anyone – including faculty, staff, and parents – anything about a student’s visit to the Counseling Service, even the fact that he or she has been to our office, unless that student gives us specific permission to do so.