Confidentiality

The UMB Student Counseling Center is a centrally administered program with private offices separate from all of the schools on campus. None of the professional staff in the center have teaching responsibilities. We also are not a training site for any of the schools.

The center's staff operates as a team to provide the best possible service. As professionals, we confer with each other within the center. The purpose of these consultations is to ensure that we are offering the highest level of care to our clients.

Protection

There are laws and ethical standards protecting your confidentiality.

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. 

Counseling records are stored in a locked file cabinet, and no one outside of the center is permitted access to them. Computer data records are maintained in a secure, electronic database. No one outside of the center is permitted access to your records.

The SCC maintains confidential records of group counseling. Individual group member's records are kept separate from other group members’ records and cannot be accessed by them. All members are required to sign a group agreement, agreeing not to disclose to anyone outside the group any information that may identify another member. This includes, but is not limited to, names, physical descriptions, biographical information, and specifics to the content of interactions with other members.

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).

      For frequently asked questions, please click here.

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.

Requests for Release of Records

Please refer to the Release of Information page 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, at 410-328-8404.