wall plaque with room number 1015 and embossed text reading Counseling Office

CONFIDENTIALITY WITH THE CENTER FOR WOUNDED VETERANS IN HIGHER EDUCATION

Confidentiality With the Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education

The Center for Wounded Veterans in Higher Education will maintain the confidentiality of all student records as required or permitted by law (FERPA, HIPPA, and Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act). Any information collected is used by the Center for the benefit of the student. This information may include test data, transcripts, grades, biographical history, disability information, performance reviews, case notes, and correspondence.

Only authorized Center staff have access to student files at the Center. Students do have the right to review his/her own file upon formal request. Otherwise, information regarding the student’s disability obtained from medical examinations or appropriate post-admissions inquires will be considered confidential and can only be shared with others with a signed consent from the student.

Disability-related information is to be treated as medical information. In general, University faculty and staff do not have a right or a need to access diagnostic or other information regarding a student's disability. Faculty and staff will be informed of the functionally inhibitive manifestations of the student's disability and the accommodations necessary or appropriate to meet the student's needs and compensate for the aforementioned deficiencies. When a student requests an accommodation, she/he will be informed as to what information will be provided to the faculty or staff regarding the request.

A student's file may be released pursuant to a court order or subpoena. In addition, a student may give written authorization for the release of educational information when he or she wishes to share it with others. Before giving such authorization, the student should understand the information being released, the purpose of the release, and to whom the information is being released. However, please note that the Center cannot release medical or mental health documentation held in the Center’s files from a third party provider. We can only release medical or mental health documentation that was generated by the Center after the student has provided written authorization.

In an effort to support veteran and disability-related research, including projects designed to assess the efficacy and needs of disability services, the Center may collaborate on a wide range of research initiatives with investigators within and outside the University of Illinois. In such instances, students registered with the Center will be contacted by our staff to ascertain their willingness to participate. Students may refuse participation or withdraw from such studies at any time or for any reason without penalty.

Confidentiality With Counseling Services at the Center

Individual, couples, family, and group therapy services at the Center with clinicians are considered confidential. In most cases, information cannot be released to another party without your written permission. However, in certain circumstances, information can be shared legally without your permission. These circumstances include:

  • Child Abuse/Neglect: Illinois Law requires your mental health provider to report to the appropriate authorities (i.e. Child Protective Services, Child Abuse Hotline) any suspicion or evidence of child abuse or neglect. This law also applies to past incidents of abuse or neglect.
  • Elder abuse/Neglect: Illinois Law requires your mental health provider to report to the appropriate authorities any suspicion or evidence of elder abuse/neglect.
  • Serious Threat to Health or Safety: If your mental health provider believes you present an imminent, serious risk of physical or mental injury or death to yourself, they may make disclosures necessary to protect you from harm. If you communicate to your mental health provider a specific threat of imminent harm against another individual or if your mental health provider believes that there is clear, imminent risk of physical or mental injury being inflicted against another, they may make disclosures necessary to protect that individual from harm in accordance with the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Act.
  • Court of law: In the event a court order/subpoena is made, your mental health provider may be required to release records should your mental health condition be part of the legal concerns.
  • Graduate Students and CWVHE staff may see personal information, however they are required to follow confidentiality rules as a condition of employment and/or training experience.
  • If you are being seen by a student who is currently under supervision, they will discuss the case with their supervision during supervision, however they are still required to follow the rules of confidentiality.

FAQ

What does confidentiality mean?

It means you have control over your health record. We cannot disclose information or release records without your consent unless required by court order or there is a concern for your or someone else’s safety.

Can I be reported for seeing a therapist and have my FOID card taken?

Seeking mental health treatment will not have your FOID card taken. If a client or individual is seen by a clinician and is identified to pose “clear and present danger” to themselves, clinicians are obligated to notify the Department of Human Services who will update their records and determine whether to revoke the person’s FOID card.

I want to work for the government after graduating. Won’t they see my records with the background check?

Our confidentiality policy indicates no one can have your information without your permission. This information would not come up with a background check and the information would not be available unless you provided written consent to release such information.

How long would my records stay at the Center?

Records are kept on campus for 7 years before they are destroyed.

Can anyone find out I am seeing a therapist/counselor?

We cannot confirm or deny whether you see a therapist/counselor without your written consent. This includes spouses, parents, employers, etc. No one can know anything about you or your treatment from us, without written consent.

For more information on confidentiality and the policy at the Center, contact Ingrid Wheeler, MSW, LCSW.

Confidentiality Policy

Collecting & Storing Data Policy