Winthrop University: Center for Student Wellness - Counseling Servies

Counseling Servies

Counseling Services Records Policy

 

Request for Counseling Records

This policy is currently in revision to align with the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule. Please contact Dr. Gretchen Baldwin with any questions regarding a request for Counseling Records.

 

How to Obtain Counseling Records

This policy is currently in revision to align with the 21st Century Cures Act Final Rule. Please contact Dr. Gretchen Baldwin with any questions regarding a request for Counseling Records.

 

Confidentiality of Counseling Records

Counseling records are protected by state and federal confidentiality regulations as well as the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association. Exceptions to confidentiality can occur only under certain circumstances. These exceptions include serious immediate threat to your life or welfare or to the life or welfare of another person, including child abuse or imminent danger to the community at large. No one outside the Center for Student Wellness staff may have access to your records and no one outside the Center for Student Wellness may be given information without your written consent. Access by medical personnel in the Center for Student Wellness is limited to those who have legitimate need to know.

Under Section 19-11-95 of the South Carolina Code, counseling records are available for your review with your therapist. This law outlines a protected relationship between licensed mental health professionals and clients. This privileged relationship means that clinicians may not reveal or be compelled by law to reveal any communication, observation, test result or other information gained as a result of the treatment relationship. Information conveyed to staff in Counseling Services by someone other than clients is not considered confidential and may be shared. Privileged communication between client and therapist may be waived by a judge in child custody or adoption cases, in law suits where mental condition is an important consideration, and in criminal law suits.

 

Counseling Records Storage and Maintenance

Although Counseling Services has transitioned to Electronic Health Records, some past Counseling Records are stored in paper format under double lock. In accordance with South Carolina state law, these paper Counseling Records are maintained for a period of at least five years after the last date that service was rendered to the client, unless otherwise required by law. After that time, charts are destroyed in a manner that assures their confidentiality.

Statements in this policy do not prohibit Counseling Services staff from releasing limited information to specified university personnel, community members, family members, or other identified individuals as requested in writing by a client. Such a request may assist in communication with a referral source, continuity of care, or in other matters that may facilitate the treatment of the client.

 

Last Updated: 8/29/22