Additional Information

Confidentiality
The UMB Student Counseling Center is a centrally administered program with private offices separate from all of the schools on campus. SCC follows the guidelines Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Code of Ethics from the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Maryland Psychological Association. As such, SCC is exempt from Title IX reporting requirements.

The clinical staff is composed of a group of multicultural and multidisciplinary mental health professionals. Our staff utilizes a team approach to making treatment recommendations. Our primary goal is to ensure that we are offering the highest level of care to our clients. If you have any questions about confidentiality, please ask the staff for further information.

Protection

  1. There are laws and ethical standards protecting your confidentiality.
  2. The center is generally required to obtain your written authorization before disclosing any information about you. Please click download to access the release of information form.
  3. Counseling records and related data are maintained in a secure, electronic database. No one outside of the center is permitted access to your records.

Confidentiality Exceptions

Your confidentiality when using UMB Student Counseling Center services is protected, but it is not absolute. There are exceptions under the law when we are required to share information about you. While this is not a complete list, some of the most common exceptions to confidentiality are the following:

  • Imminent harm to self:If a staff member has reason to believe you are in danger of physically harming yourself, they may have to contact a family member or another person who may be able to keep you safe, or may have to make an involuntary referral to a hospital.
  • Imminent harm to others:If a staff member has reason to believe you are seriously threatening physical violence against another person, or if you have a history of physically violent behavior, and if they believe you are an actual threat to the safety of another person, they may be required to take some action (such as contacting the police, notifying the other person, seeking involuntary hospitalization, or some combination of these actions) to ensure that the other person is protected.
  • Subpoena or court order: If the SCC is served with a subpoena or court order, the SCC may be required to disclose confidential information about you. You will generally be given notice in advance.
  • National security or law enforcement: If the SCC receives a lawful demand for confidential information under authority of national security or law enforcement officials or from correctional facilities, the SCC may be required to disclose confidential information about you.

CONFIDENTIALITY LAW UNIQUE TO MARYLAND

  • Child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse:If you report anything about a child under the age of 18 being abused or neglected, or a vulnerable adult being abused or neglected, present or past, we are required to make a report to Child Protective Services or Adult Protective Services.
  • PAST CHILD ABUSE REPORTED BY AN ADULT:UMB and University System of Maryland (USM) policies and Maryland law mandate that child abuse is to be reported even if the alleged abuse occurred in the past and the victim is now an adult or even if the alleged abuser is deceased. This requirement was clarified in an official Opinion of the Attorney General and is applicable to health professionals and employees and other members of the USM community. (See 78 Op. Att’y Gen 189 1993).
  • Should any of these exceptions occur, we will release only the necessary information under the circumstances or as needed to comply with the law. If you have any questions, please call 410-328-8404 and ask to speak to a counselor.

 

Mental Health Records

  • Documentation of services is held at the UMB Student Counseling Center for 7 years (as determined in the International Association of Counseling Services standards of practice for college counseling) after which time files are destroyed as per Maryland State law.
  • If you would like a copy of your student counseling record, please refer to the Release of Information section for details.
  • If you have any questions concerning the UMB Student Counseling Center’s policies and practices concerning confidentiality, please do not hesitate to call the executive director, Emilia K. Petrillo, LCSW-C, at410-328-8404.

Release of Information
If you would like a copy of your student counseling record or would like any information from SCC to be sent to a third party, a release of information is necessary based on confidentiality requirements. SCC requires a minimum of 10 business days to fulfill these requests.

  • When faxing a release of information to the SCC:
    • Include a copy of a picture ID to help us verify your identity.Include a phone number where you can be reached
    • Include a phone number where you can be reachedCall the SCC at 410-328-8404 to make sure the fax was received.
    • Call the SCC at 410-328-8404 to make sure the fax was received
    • Your SCC clinician(s) will contact you and ask to review with you the documentation request.
  • Click here to view or print the Release of Information 1-17-2020.
  • Requests for Release of Records
    • To self: If you want to review or obtain a copy of your records, you must schedule an appointment with your clinician. During that appointment, you will have the opportunity to ask questions while you read the chart. In addition, if you see something that you would like clarified, you may write it on a separate sheet of paper, which will then become a permanent part of your record. After you sign the SCC release of information, you would be provided with a copy of your records.
    • To others: Some clients (or former clients) want their records released directly to a third party, such as another mental health provider or a law enforcement official. In those cases, you must first sign a release of information specifying exactly what information you want released and to whom (and contact information for that person). A signature on a third party's release of information form is not If you want your records released to a law enforcement official or an attorney, you also must confirm your request verbally to an SCC clinician (by phone or in person). When records are released directly to a third party, you are not required to schedule an appointment with the clinician to review them yourself.

Academic and Employment Accommodations / Testing / Evaluations
SCC clinicians assess for current mental health needs only and do not assess or evaluate for academic or employment disability accommodations, Peace Corps applications, child custody, or any other employment purposes.

We do not provide assessments, evaluations, or documentation for students seeking academic accommodations. All students seeking academic accommodations should contact the Office of Educational Support and Disability Support by email or call 410-706-5889. Click here to visit the Office of Educational Access and Disability Support Services website. Please review the University of Maryland policy regarding student accommodations as well as a list of providers that can provide evaluations. If you received services at the SCC, SCC is able to provide you with a Summary of Services letter. Please see Letters section for more information.

 

Medical Leave of Absence

Students seeking a voluntary medical leave of absence for mental health reasons (MLOA) must follow their school or academic program’s policies and procedures for requesting and approving leave. Contact Executive Director Emilia K. Petrillo, LCSW-C, or Clincal Director Jenna Silverman, PhD, at 410-328-8404 for any questions related to MLOA.

Letters
Any documentation requested from SCC, including summary of services, attendance letter (i.e., Doctor’s note), or other documentation require a release of information to be provided. For most documentation, it is necessary to give SCC a notice of at least 10 business days from the date the student signs the release of information.

Attendance Verification Requests

If it is requested, attendance verification (i.e., Doctor’s note) is available. It provides only the date and time of attendance and no additional information. If you require this documentation, please let your clinician know prior to or at the beginning of your session.

 

Summary of Services

If you received services at the SCC, SCC is able to provide you with a Summary of Services letter. The letter may include diagnosis, treatment plan, and clinical assessment of the individual at the time when services were rendered.

Requests for Letters

  • If you want your SCC provider(s) to prepare a newly written statement about your treatment to you or someone else, please allow a minimum of 10 business days for us to complete the documentation.  
  • If you need documentation of your In-Person Assessment and or Verification of Attendance, the SCC will gladly provide it. We will not be able to fulfill requests for other documentation until an ongoing therapeutic relationship is established.  
  • We ask that you give your counselor as much advance notice as possible. If you are requesting a Verification of Attendance form only, and if your clinician is available, we may be able to honor same-day requests depending on our demand for services that day. A Verification of Attendance includes your name, dates of treatment, and no other information. We do not provide notarized letters or documents.

A Summary of Services letter does not serve as a disability evaluation, proof of fitness record, or prognosis of mental health for use by outside entities. However, the letter may be helpful to you if you choose to seek an independent evaluation from a qualified examiner. If a student needs an assessment that is outside SCC’s scope of services, SCC is available to assist with outside referral to a qualified outside provider. Final documentation will be released by fax, regular U.S. mail, or arrangements can be made for documents to be picked up at the center. SCC requires advanced noticed of 10 business days beginning from the date the student signs the SCC Release of Information Form.

 

ESA Documentation

SCC does not provide Emotional Support Animal letters. This is due to similar reasons of being unable to assess for academic and employment disability. Given that special accommodation recommendations for animals, particularly dogs, are largely administrative in nature, it is best that they are performed by a neutral third party. If you are interested in obtaining an ESA letter or receiving disability evaluation, an outside provider will be recommended. For more information on emotional support animals, click here.

The advisory group Human-Animal Interactions in Counseling Group recommends that only specially trained therapists evaluate and document if Emotional Support Animals are recommended. Letters for emotional support animals may constitute a legal documentation of disability and should be conducted by a third party not involved in the treatment of the client. It is the recommendation of the HAIC (Human-Animal Interactions in Counseling) that professional counselors do not engage in the practice of writing letters for their clients, unless the counselor has specialized training and experience in working with human-animal bond in counseling.

Tele-Health
Tele-mental health services are not offered by SCC at this time primarily because of legal and ethical practical concerns regarding practicing across state lines and confidentiality. SCC assists students in crisis who may consult with a counselor in person or by phone as needed to assess danger to self and others and connect student with community/local resources.

Tele-mental health refers to the provision of mental health services from a distance using live interactive video teleconferencing. Clinicians utilizing tele-mental health to provide therapy must comply with the relevant licensing laws in the jurisdiction where the provider is physically located when providing care and where the client is located when receiving care. In the United States, the jurisdictional licensure requirement is tied to where the client is physically located when they is receiving care, not where the client lives (Turvey et al., 2013) or used to live. Thus, if a student is receiving teletherapy, the therapist must be licensed in both the state where they are located and in Maryland (where the student is located). If you are interested in tele-health through the UMB student insurance, please click here.

If you are receiving tele mental health services (or any other mental health services), please inform your SCC clinician during your consultation.

No Show / Cancellation Policy
The Student Counseling Center (SCC) understands that unexpected academic responsibilities, work and family commitments, and health concerns may impact a student’s schedule. However, as there is high demand for SCC services, students should notify the SCC of any appointment changes or cancellations as early as possible. Advance notice of appointment cancellations will allow the SCC to offer time slots to other students who wish to access the center's services.

Cancellations: Because of the heavy demand for services, if a student needs to cancel an SCC appointment, the student should call 410-328-8404 at least 24 hours (one business day) in advance of the scheduled appointment time. If a student has a same-day urgent reason for canceling, the student should call 410-328-8404 and speak with their SCC treatment provider or leave a message with information related to the need for cancellation. Please note that students who frequently cancel or reschedule counseling appointments or medication management services may be required to meet with their SCC counselor to assess treatment barriers and, if necessary, develop a new treatment plan before resuming SCC services. 

Late Arrivals: If a student arrives more than 10 minutes late for a scheduled appointment, the student may be asked to reschedule.

No-Shows: If the SCC does not receive a student’s notice of cancellation by 4 p.m. the day before and the student does not show up at the scheduled appointment time, it will be recorded as a “No-Show.” The following apply regarding “No-Shows”: 

  • A “No-Show” for counseling follow-up appointments will count against a student’s total allocated number of counseling sessions (six per semester/12 per academic year).
  • Two consecutive “No-Show” follow-up appointments may result in suspension of SCC counseling and medication management services for a period of six months starting from the student’s last date of contact with the SCC. Outside referral assistance and walk-in consultation services (Daily at 1:30 p.m.) are available to suspended students as needed.
    • First “No-Show”: SCC provider will contact the student (by phone/voice mail or email) requesting that the student contact their SCC provider within one week in order to resume services.
    • Second “No-Show”: SCC provider will contact the student (by phone/voice mail or email) to inform the student that counseling and/or medication management services through the SCC will be suspended for six months. The SCC also will send written notification to the student and provide a list of community resources to assist the student in continuing their care. The student may use walk-in daily (1:30 p.m.) consultation services and/or request to meet with an SCC provider to receive assistance with community resource referrals. If a student had been receiving medication management services through the SCC, an SCC psychiatrist will determine how to bridge medication concerns and may choose to provide one last 30-day scrip as required by state law.
    • Students whose SCC services have been suspended may be eligible again for SCC services at the end of the six-month period after undergoing a new evaluation to reassess needs.

Initial Intake Evaluation: Students who visit the SCC for the first time must schedule an appointment to meet with an SCC counselor for an initial intake evaluation. This initial intake evaluation is not a counseling session but rather an opportunity for the SCC counselor to evaluate treatment needs and determine whether the SCC will be an appropriate setting to meet those needs and the student’s required level of care. A student who cancels, reschedules, or does not show for two or more intake evaluations may be required to meet with the SCC director or designee for an assessment of treatment access barriers before the student may schedule another intake evaluation. To learn more about the first appointment, click here.

Inclement weather policy
The Student Counseling Center follows the University's lead when determining late openings and/or closings because of inclement weather.

For exact closing information, students can sign up for UMB Alerts at http://www.umaryland.edu/alerts/ or click on the UMB homepage at http://www.umaryland.edu/.

Under normal conditions, the Student Counseling Center opens at 8:30 a.m. If the University opens late or closes early, the center will do the same. Appointments scheduled during the time that the University closes will be canceled automatically. For example, if you have a 9 a.m. appointment and the University opens at 10 a.m., your appointment will be canceled. If your appointment is at 11 a.m. and UMB opens at 10 a.m., you will be expected to arrive at the scheduled time. However, if a student thinks it is not safe to travel from their home because of the weather, we ask that you call in and reschedule the appointment. If your appointment is canceled because of inclement weather, please call the Student Counseling Center during regular business hours when the University reopens to reschedule your appointment. For after-hours crisis information, please click here.

Complaint process
You have the right to tell us when something is wrong. If you present a complaint, your care will not be affected in any way. If you submit a complaint to the Counseling Center, someone will try to acknowledge your communication within three business days.

  • Who to Contact
  • When presenting your issue, please be ready to share the following information when you contact us:
    • The nature of your complaint.
    • The name(s) of the person(s) involved.
    • The date on which the problem occurred.
    • Your ideas about how you would like us to help.
  • Our investigation will include:
    • Talking with you so that we know your concerns.
    • Contacting and talking with the person(s) named in your complaint.
    • Reviewing all appropriate documents, including your counseling record, if necessary.
    • Collaborating with you on a possible resolution, as appropriate.
  • What to expect from the process:
    • Your counselor or someone else from the Counseling Center will contact you, review your complaint, and make every effort to resolve your concerns at that time. We make every effort to resolve issues within 30 days, but that might not always be possible.
    • A written communication will be sent to you with the resolution of your complaint.