Student Counseling Center visits are private. Records do not become part of the student's official University file. Information is not shared between departments unless there is written permission given by the student. Each counselor, therapist, staff member, and student worker is bound by confidentiality. We also make every effort to ensure privacy over the phone and in the office setting.
- Students sometimes raise questions about the privacy of what is discussed in counseling. The Student Counseling Center adheres to legal standards of the State of Michigan and ethical standards of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Counselors Association which guarantee that everything a student talks about is held in strictest confidence.
- An exception to these standards only arises when there is a danger to life or to a vulnerable other such as in cases of physical or sexual abuse of a child. Additionally, the courts could subpoena counseling records if they existed and saw them as relevant to a criminal case.
- Any exception to this policy requires written consent from the student.
- The Student Counseling Center compiles statistics on its services, and periodically the staff use this data to conduct research on how to improve counseling services. In all cases, any information that would identify individual students is removed from the data.
- Any notes taken by the counselor and any other counseling records do not become part of the student's official University file at any time. If students have questions about privacy in counseling, a counselor will be glad to answer them.
The Student Counseling Center adheres to HIPPA standards of confidentiality. The Office for Civil Rights enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information; the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information; the HIPAA Breach Notification Rule, which requires covered entities and business associates to provide notification following a breach of unsecured protected health information; and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect identifiable information being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety.
Additional information about HIPPA can be found at: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/