All information gathered in counseling, including the fact that a student has come to Counseling Services, is held in strict confidence. No information is released to anyone unless the student requests it or it is within the exceptions to confidentiality stated in Indiana state law, such as:
(a) If DePauw University Counseling Services is court ordered to release information
(b) If an immediate danger of serious harm to someone (self or others) requires that information be released to prevent the harm from happening
(c) If the potential risk of harm to children, the elderly, and the physically or mentally handicapped is present
If a student is entering law enforcement or the military he/she should know that applications routinely ask if you have sought counseling in the past.
Recently publicized concerns about the confidentiality of students' mental health records on college campuses, particularly related to sexual assault allegations, is prompting Counseling Services to remind and reassure students about the laws and policies related to protecting their personal health information. All students who are at least 18 years old seeking mental health services at Counseling Services have the legal protection of confidentiality afforded by Indiana state law. Under state law, our staff is prohibited in disclosing any information related to your treatment, without your permission, with few exceptions. Allegations of child or elderly abuse that have not been reported, imminent, life-threatening danger to oneself or others, or a court order for records are the most common exceptions that we encounter. Mental health treatment records are considered separate from a student's educational records and held to stricter standards regarding their disclosure. In all cases, including reports of sexual assault, maintaining confidentiality is a legal and ethical mandate for our entire staff that we take seriously and recognize as essential for students to feel comfortable using our services.