All information shared with the mental health professionals at Counseling Services is confidential and no information will be released without student-client written consent. There are specific exceptions as mandated by California state laws, which include:
- When there is reasonable risk of danger to the student-client or to another person, group of people, or property, the mental health professional is required to take reasonable steps to prevent such danger;
- When there is reasonable suspicion that a child (i.e., person under age 18), elder (i.e., person over age 65), or dependent adult (i.e., person over age 18 who is in the custodial care of someone else) is being abused or is at risk of abuse, the mental health professional is required to take reasonable steps to protect the person and to inform the proper authorities;
- When a valid legal request is made for mental health records, the mental health professional and Counseling Services are required to comply with such requests.
Counseling Services maintains secure electronic client records, which include demographic information, treatment goals, therapy progress, and any correspondence related to the student-client. Extensive safeguards exist to protect the security of the mental health records and only professional staff who are involved in treatment have access to these records.
- All student-clients have the legal right to access their confidential Counseling Services records. If desired, a "Release of Information" form must be filled out, signed, and dated in ink.
- Releases of Information may be faxed, emailed or hand-delivered to Counseling Services.
- Releases of Information are not accepted from anyone except the student-client, the legal representative of the student-client (as defined by law) or the beneficiary/personal representative of a student-client (if they are deceased).
- When a valid Release of Information is received, the relevant information will be provided within 30 days, as required by law.
Relevant Confidentiality Laws
- All Counseling Services actions and records are provided in accordance with relevant laws in the State of California. For more information, please refer to the California Board of Psychology.
- Counseling Services does not meet the definition of a HIPAA-covered entity.
- Counseling Services' student-client records are considered "exempt" under FERPA. Therefore, a campus-wide FERPA waiver does NOT apply to any records held by Counseling Services.