Adherence to Laws
All aspects of your participation in counseling at the Counseling and Wellness Center are private and confidential in accordance with state and federal laws including HIPAA.
- No information may be released to anyone outside of the CWC without your written permission.
- Any information provided is strictly confidential.
- This means that by law the counselor cannot provide any information about you to anyone without your written permission, even whether you are meeting with a counselor at the Counseling & Wellness Center.
- It also means that your information will not be disclosed to your academic department, your home government, the U.S. government, your friends, or your parents.
When Your Information Might Be Disclosed
The CWC operates as a single entity, which means that counselors, psychologists, and psychiatric providers within the CWC may share your information in order to consult with each other in order to provide you the most effective services. These consultation are on an “as-needed” basis within the counseling staff of CWC. If the UF Student Health Care Center (SHCC) is collaborating in your care, we may communicate about you with them as-needed.
CWC professional staff have a legal responsibility to disclose client information without prior consent if:
- A client is likely to harm themselves or others unless protective measures are taken.
- There is reasonable suspicion of abuse of children, dependent adults or the elderly.
- The client lacks the capacity to care for him or herself.
- There is a valid court order for the disclosure of client files.
Fortunately these situations are infrequent.
Confidentiality as a Minor
If you are under the age of 18, please discuss with your counselor how confidentiality applies to you.
You can learn more about confidentiality and privacy when you come in for your first appointment, and feel free to discuss with your mental health provider at any time.
As required by psychological practice guidelines and current standards of care, we keep records of your counseling and psychiatry visits. These records are on file for 10 years before being purged from our system. This is in adherence with legal requirements.
Your counseling record will not be a part of your educational record. Neither the fact that you seek counseling and other services nor any information disclosed in the sessions will appear in your student academic record unless you specifically direct us to communicate with other staff and faculty at the university.
Requests for Documentation
We are usually able to provide documentation of services or letters of support for current and former clients. However, if you have never been a client at the CWC, we are probably not the best source of support for your petition and may not be able to provide you a letter.
Current and former clients may need documentation of services received at the CWC. For example, documentation of services is typically required for petitions related to withdrawal from classes or arrangements with financial aid. Follow the steps below to obtain documentation.
Types of Documentation
Petition Support Letters
Speak to your counselor or provider if you need a petition support letter, such as for withdrawal from classes or reinstatement of financial aid. Tell your provider the purpose of the letter and share complete contact information for the letter recipient. If your provider is no longer on staff at the CWC, you may obtain a letter by completing the CWC Request for Records form.
Note that petition committees generally only view support letters favorably when they are written by a provider with whom you have established a working relationship. If you have met with a CWC provider for only 1-2 visits, the provider can only offer a visit verification form.
Visit Verification Forms
You may ask your provider for a visit verification form, which is official documentation that you received services on a particular date. This could be helpful to share with a professor who desires proof of services. Note that for the purpose of petitions, a visit verification form typically is not an adequate substitute for a support letter from a provider with whom you have an established working relationship.
You may wish to share records regarding your treatment with another professional. To request records, complete the CWC Request for Records form.
Bring a photo ID and visit the CWC to sign a release of information form. The CWC cannot release any information about you without your signed authorization. You may retrieve your letter or documentation when you sign this form, provided that it is available at that time.
- Bring a photo ID when retrieving your documentation from the CWC.
- Allow up to 30 days for the processing of documentation requests.
- The CWC does not keep records beyond 10 years.