Disclosure to Parents of Information about the Student
The student’s assurance of privacy is one of the conditions that makes counseling effective. The Counseling Center is prohibited by law from disclosing anything about the student without explicit written permission from the student. This even applies to parents! Some students have signed a “waiver” allowing parents to talk to academic deans about the student’s progress. That waiver does NOT apply to psychological counseling.
If you know that your son or daughter has seen one of our psychologists and if you think it is important to talk to your student’s psychologist, PLEASE TELL THE STUDENT OF YOUR CONCERN, AND ASK THE STUDENT TO SIGN A RELEASE OF INFORMATION AT THE COUNSELING CENTER, which then allows us to discuss your son or daughter with you.
We are not even free to share with you whether your student has sought counseling, as even that information is protected by state law.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
When we believe that any student is in imminent danger, at risk of seriously harming him/herself or someone else, we will seek the student’s permission to involve family members. If the student will not give permission, we are compelled to break confidentiality. In that case, we will contact the family.
If YOU have very worrisome information that we may not have, such as someone revealing to you that your son or daughter has made a suicide attempt, please call us and give us that information. In that unusual circumstance the priority is to protect the student, and the family’s involvement is essential.
In summary, if you are a concerned parent, call us! We will talk openly with you about the concerns you describe. If there is a confidentiality dilemma, we will work with you to determine what is best for the student.
Resources for Parents
Below is a list of books for parents. The first group focus on the student's transition. The second group focus on the impact on the parents' lives.