In accordance with federal and state laws, the use of Student Counseling Services by students is strictly confidential. Information about a student (including whether or not a student has received services at SCS) cannot be shared with individuals outside SCS, including faculty, staff, administrators, fellow students, family members, and friends, without that student’s written permission. In addition, a student’s use of SCS does not become part of their academic record.
Limits to confidentiality
There are legal limits to confidentiality. In rare circumstances, such as the following, information may be released:
- When a student signs a written request to have information released
- When a student discloses intention to commit suicide or homicide/serious physical harm to others
- When a student’s behavior is assessed to be erratic or dangerous enough to pose a direct threat to self or others
- When information is disclosed that a child or dependent adult somewhere is being abused or neglected
- When a judge orders that information be provided via subpoena
In the event that information about a student must be released because of one or more of the above exceptions to confidentiality, the student will be informed.
Special Note about COVID-19 and Confidentiality
SCS may be required to notify local health authorities if you have been in contact with someone in the office who has tested positive for the virus. SCS will only provide the minimum information necessary for data collection that will be necessary for contact tracing and for slowing the spread of the virus. SCS will not provide any details about the reason for the visits. Instead, the data collection consists of the address of SCS and its staff and your name and contact information. By signing below, you agree that SCS may share this limited data without an additional signature.
Communicating with on-campus health providers
For resident students and students in crisis, SCS staff may need to share information with Student Health Center staff. In particular, resident students who experience mental health emergencies and students who receive psychiatric on campus should be aware that information will be shared between relevant staff members. The sole purpose of this communication is to ensure that students receive the most appropriate, efficient, and effective care and support possible.
Maintaining quality services
Counselors receive regular supervision of their work. Any information shared with supervisors or consultants is kept strictly confidential. The goal of supervision is to enable counselors to provide the best services possible. Students will be informed if a counselor is receiving supervision.
If you have any questions regarding confidentiality and its limits, please contact SCS by calling (703) 526-6861.