Confidentiality and E-mail Policy
The Intervention and Prevention Program and Counseling Services maintain records as regulated by the State of Michigan Mental Health Code. Maintenance of records is in accordance with professional, legal, and ethical guidelines. Other than authorized CS staff, no one has access to those records unless students release them in writing. They do not become part of academic files, and even the fact that students have come to the CS is not divulged to anyone without their permission. Your conversations with your counselor, your records, and the results of psychological tests are treated strictly confidential within CS. If you want any of this information shared with any person outside of CS, you must sign a release of information allowing us to do so. Since your Counseling Services records are not part of your academic or administrative records, they are only available to you and the CS staff.
There are some exceptions to this policy of which you should be aware. Counselors may have to disclose information if there is a danger that you may harm yourself or another person. Counselors are also required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable persons, including children and the elderly. Records may have to be released if they are subpoenaed in a court of law. If students have any questions about these policies, they should discuss them with the Director of Counseling Services.
We welcome your interest and contact. We also value your privacy. Please consider the following information prior to sending us e-mail:
E-mail is not an appropriate medium for individual questions regarding personal counseling. It is most appropriate for requesting general information regarding services, resources, or other campus information. Our staff does not respond to inquiries from our clients regarding specific counseling issues. Confidentiality is essential to the counseling process and cannot be assured with e-mail. We cannot guarantee that the contents of an e-mail message will remain confidential. While we will do our best to keep your communication private, e-mail usage can be monitored and others may read the content of your personal messages.
Staff access to e-mail is also limited to Counseling Services work hours. There is no expectation that CS staff will check e-mail after hours. Also, you have no way of knowing if a specific staff member is unavailable due to illness, vacation, or other reasons. This means that your message may not be read immediately. E-mail should never be used for urgent communication of any sort. If time is of particular concern for you, please always call the CS office.