It is understood that confidentiality is a necessary part of and a cornerstone to the counselling process. Your attendance at counselling and the information you share with your counsellor during sessions will not be disclosed by the counsellor to anyone else without your consent, except in exceptional circumstances.
These exceptional circumstances include:
- Where there is a genuine concern that there is a threat to the safety or life of the student or to the safety or life of another person.
- The Student Counselling Service at ATU Donegal operates within the Children First Act 2015, if there are concerns that there is a child (under 18) at risk, the student counsellor is obligated to act within the children first guidelines.
- The records maintained by the Student Counselling Service may be subpoenaed by a court of law.
Third party request for information
Where a third party (friend, parent, lecturer or Head of Department) has requested information about a student’s attendance at counselling or information concerning their mental health the Student Counselling Service will not disclose information without the student’s consent. When consent is given, information is disclosed ‘on a need to know basis’ and will be done to facilitate a student accessing further supports or services.
Each student has the right to withhold consent from information being passed to a third party who has requested it. There may, however, be consequences to this regarding a student being able to avail of certain supports or services. Where known this will be explained to the student at the time.
All psychologists and counsellors are required by their accrediting bodies to attend supervision. This process is to help a counsellor reflect on their work, with a colleague who is external to the service and college. In this instance counsellors’ work with clients may be discussed, however during this process the identity of the client is not disclosed.