Confidentiality Policy

We understand that your health care information, including counseling appointments, is personal. We are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of this information and providing you with information regarding our privacy practices. Information about your appointments at the Counseling Center is confidential and cannot be disclosed to others without your written consent. Any recorded information about your appointments at the Counseling Center will not be part of your academic record. The Counseling Center complies with state and federal laws regulating confidentiality as well as professional ethical codes. There are some exceptions to confidentiality, typically involving imminent risk of self-harm or abuse of others.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Counseling Center’s confidentiality policies, please contact the Therapeutic Services Coordinator at at 217-333-3704. The Counseling Center has chosen to adopt some of the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) because they represent excellent standards of professional practice in regards to privacy and confidentiality. The Counseling Center may use or disclose your protected health information (PHI) for treatment and health care operations purposes only with your written authorization. The Center may also use or disclose PHI for purposes outside of treatment or health care operations when your written authorization is obtained. You may revoke all such authorizations at any time, provided each revocation is in writing. You may not revoke an authorization to the extent that the Counseling Center has relied on that authorization in providing services on your behalf.

Limits of Confidentiality

The Counseling Center may use or disclose PHI without your consent or authorization in the certain circumstances, including the following:

  • Child Abuse – If your counselor has reasonable cause to believe a child known to him/her in his/her professional capacity may be an abused child or a neglected child, your counselor must report this belief in accordance with the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.
  • Adult and Domestic Abuse – If your counselor has reason to believe that an individual (who is protected by state law) has been abused, neglected, or financially exploited, he/she must report this belief in accordance with the Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act.
  • Serious Threat to Health or Safety – If your counselor believed that you present an imminent, serious risk of physical or mental injury or death to yourself, he/she may make disclosures he/she considers necessary to protect you from harm. If you communicate to your counselor a specific threat of imminent harm against another individual or if he/she believes that there is clear, imminent risk of physical or mental injury being inflicted against another individual, he/she may make disclosures that he/she believes are necessary to protect that individual from harm in accordance with the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act.

Complaints

Should you have questions or if you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint by contacting the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704 and requesting to speak with our Privacy Officer. The Counseling Center has policies that ensure all complaints are handled in a professional and ethical manner.

More information about your confidentiality rights and the Counseling Center’s privacy policies can be found in our NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES, which students receive at their initial appointment.