The Counseling and Psychological Services at Kutztown University protects the confidentiality of information shared during sessions. We are ethically committed to confidentiality and FERPA laws. Your involvement with the CPS office and the information you share in your counseling sessions are confidential and will only be shared with individuals outside of the CPS with your written consent, with the following exceptions:
- If you are assessed to be a danger to yourself or another person, your counselor may disclose confidential information for the purpose of protecting you or others from harm. This disclosure of confidential information may include notification to other KU personnel, family members, or others. All CPS employees are mandated reporters.
- CPS faculty counselors, graduate student trainees, and psychiatric contractors work as a treatment team, and may share your information with each other in order to consult about providing appropriate counseling and/or referrals to you.
- Your information will be stored in files and the CPS electronic database, located on a dedicated server accessible only to CPS personnel. CPS sometimes uses email to communicate regarding student clients, i.e. regarding appointment reminders or missed appointments, letters to professors sent at your request, etc. Please be aware that email is not a confidential medium.
- If you have been referred to the hospital for a mental health evaluation, CPS may notify Public Safety & Police Services, emergency transport staff and KU Health & Wellness Services. With your written permission, CPS may also consult with the staff of the Office of the Dean of Student Services and Campus Life. CPS may also consult with those offices regarding student safety, treatment recommendations and follow-up.
- If a counselor has reason to suspect, on the basis of their professional judgment, that a child, elderly, or disabled person is being or has been abused, they may be required to report the suspected abuse to appropriate agencies.
- If you are referred by the court or are involved in litigation, the court or your attorney may want information about your treatment. You may wish to consult your attorney about such matters before you become involved in counseling. The court has the right to order the release of confidential records under certain circumstances.
ELIGIBILITY FOR SERVICES
- Services are available to full-time undergraduate and graduate enrolled students. Part-time students may be seen for consultation, referral and crisis intervention, but they are not eligible for on going sessions.
- Students who receive current counseling services at CPS may not be eligible for concurrent or on going employment or training experiences in CPS.
- CPS reserves the right to decline or discontinue services if we determine that, based upon clinical judgment, the nature or severity of concerns renders CPS inappropriate for your care. This may happen at the time of initial consultation, or during the course of treatment if your symptoms change or worsen. Services may also be declined or terminated due to student non-compliance with treatment recommendations, lack of progress in treatment and/or missed appointments.
- If CPS is not able to provide you with counseling services, we will provide you with a referral to a provider off-campus. Students deemed appropriate for CPS care are eligible for short term counseling.
CPS will provide a record or summary to a third party, such as another treating professional providing mental health services. It is important to note that in keeping with the ethical and legal standards of confidentiality, your written permission through a signed Release of Information form is necessary to share any information about your treatment at CPS.
Generally, CPS may issue a treatment summary letter outlining clinical services. If you are requesting an entire record, a signed release is needed, and there may be a Medical Records fee ( www.health.pa.gov ).
In the event where there is a signed and certified release of information regarding clinical documents to be emailed, mailed, or faxed, there will be a free: Department of Health Charges for Medical Records [46 Pa.B 7598]. Amount charged per page:
- 1 - 20: $1.48 per page
- 21 - 60: $1.10 per page
- 61 - max: $0.37 per page
- Search and referral fee: $22.64
CPS recognizes that email, text messaging and social media are common forms of communication that put your privacy at risk and can be inconsistent with the law and with the standards of the mental health profession. The CPS Social Media Policy has been prepared to assure the security and confidentiality of treatment and to assure that it is consistent with ethics and the law.
- E-mail exchanges with the office staff and/or your counselor should be limited to things such as scheduling and changing appointments. Please do not e-mail content related to your therapy sessions as e-mail is not completely secure or confidential.
- CPS administrative staff will use text communication only with permission and only for administrative purposes (appointment reminders).
- CPS counselors, counselor trainees, and staff will not accept friend or contact requests from student clients.