Counseling Services - Confidentiality

All counseling services are confidential as mandated by the law, and information will only be released with a signed Authorization for Release of Information. All staff working in MU Counseling Services adhere to and hold confidentiality in the highest regard professionally. Support staff working within MU Counseling Services do not have session content information.

Professional Collaboration of Care

Counselors will engage in professional collaboration and consultation with each other toward appropriate student care. Counseling staff will avoid the use of communication of unnecessary disclosure of student identity and/or unwarranted disclosure of a student’s personal information. Outside professionals may be utilized as needed for professional consultation and identifying information will not be disclosed.  Health services and counseling services make up MU Wellness Services. There may be times professional collaboration occurs with the MU nurse.

In cases wherein the communication of personal identity and/or personal information is necessary to share toward the provision of appropriate care, counselors will make every attempt to:

a) obtain student permission prior to consultation disclosure
b) minimize information disclosure to only that which is directly necessary to consultation

Spartan Success

MU counselors participate in Spartan Success (powered by Starfish).  When needs of a student have been identified through the Spartan Success network, there may be times counseling staff are asked to reach out to a student to provide support. Tracking of responses to referred student needs requires Spartan Success members to confirm if a student has responded to the outreach communication. Outreach to a student does not require participation in counseling nor are they a counseling client until after they have voluntarily enrolled in counseling services. Counselors will communicate the success or lack thereof regarding outreach attempts to ensure university services are offered to students. Should a student choose to participate in counseling services, session content is strictly confidential.

Indiana Code: Legal Exceptions to Confidentiality

IC 34-30-16 Duty to Warn

  • Student presents clear and imminent danger to self or others (i.e. potential violence to self or others).

IC 31-33-5 Child Abuse Reporting
Under Indiana law any individual who has a reason to believe a child is a victim of abuse or neglect has the duty to make a report; therefore, each citizen of Indiana is considered a “mandated reporter.”  While reporting child abuse is everyone’s responsibility, Indiana law requires some in certain occupations to do so.  These professional reporters are staff members in a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility, or agency. These reporters are legally obligated by their profession to report alleged child abuse or neglect.

This Indiana mandated reporting applies to counseling services when there is reason to believe abuse or neglect has occurred, or through disclosure of abuse or neglect of any individual currently under the age of 18.

FERPA

FERPA guidelines allow for appropriate disclosure of information when there is a concern of imminent danger to self or others.

Third Party Communications

Students may voluntarily choose for communication to occur between counseling providers and an external professional or institution (e.g. family doctor, community mental health provider, family member, coach).  In such cases the student will:

  • Complete a Release of Information (ROI) available through Counseling Services detailing the consent for the entity as well as identification of the specific information they wish to be shared.
  • This document will be signed by the student and will be kept in the student’s record with our office.
  • Release of Information (ROI) can be completed, terminated, or changes made at any time per the student’s request and signature if applicable.

Students may also voluntarily choose to bring someone with them to counseling services. This may include a friend, family member, faculty member, staff, or a member of their support system. ROI is not required in these situations.