Confidentiality & E-mail Policy
Counseling Services maintains records as regulated by the State of Florida Mental Health Code. Maintenance of records is in accordance with professional, legal, and ethical guidelines. For students age 18 or older, only authorized Counseling Services staff have access to records unless students consent to release in writing. Counseling records do not become part of the academic record, and even the fact that students have come to Counseling Services is not divulged to anyone without their consent and permission. Students who wish their information to be shared with others outside of Counseling Services must complete a "Consent for Release of Information" form granting permission to release copies of records.
There are important exceptions to this policy. Counseling Services staff may have to disclose information if there is a danger of harm to the student/client or another person. Counseling Services staff are also required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect of vulnerable persons, including children and the elderly. Records may have to be released without consent if subpoenaed in a court of law. If students have any questions about these policies, please contact the Director of Counseling Services at 727-864-8248.
Although Counseling Services staff regularly communicate via electronic mail, we also value the privacy of our students and clients. Please consider the following information prior to sending e-mail to Counseling Services staff:
E-mail is not an appropriate medium for individual questions regarding personal counseling. It is most appropriate for requesting general information regarding services, resources, or other campus information. Counseling Services staff does not respond to inquiries from students/clients regarding specific counseling issues. Confidentiality is essential to the counseling process and cannot be assured with e-mail. We cannot guarantee that the contents of an e-mail message will remain confidential. While we will do our best to keep communications private, e-mail usage can be monitored and others may read the content of personal messages.
Staff access to e-mail is also limited to Counseling Services work hours. There is no expectation that Counseling Services staff will check e-mail after hours. Also, there is no way of knowing whether a specific staff member is unavailable due to illness, vacation, or other reasons. This means that a message may not be read immediately.
E-mail should never be used for urgent communication of any sort. If time is of particular concern, please call the office at 727-864-8248.