Privacy and Confidentiality

Your Privacy is Important to Us

The University of Windsor Student Counselling Centre (SCC) provides therapy and mental health services with informed consent from students. This means that we want you to understand the services we provide you, the risks and benefits involved, and what we do with your personal information. An important part of respecting privacy is to be clear about how we handle personal information and to make information about our policy easily accessible.  The SCC is committed to collecting, using, and disclosing personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary for the services we provide. 

The collection of your personal health information is governed by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). This means that all personal information obtained through the therapeutic relationship is confidential. Records from our sessions are stored securely for a minimum of ten years after our last contact with you and are not disclosed to anyone on or off campus outside the Student Counselling Centre without your consent, except where required by law (see limits to confidentiality below). 

All therapists and administrative staff employed by the Student Counselling Centre are subject to strict confidentiality through their professional regulation and must protect all personal health information under PHIPA.  

There are certain circumstances in which your therapist is legally obligated to disclose relevant personal information to the appropriate authorities, with or without your consent. These circumstances include: 

  • If there are reasonable grounds to suspect physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a child under 16 years of age. (CYFSA).   
  • If there are reasonable grounds to believe that a member of a regulated health profession was sexually intimate with and/or made sexually suggestive or inappropriate remarks to a client/patient (RHPA). 
  • If there is a court/judge order to release a client’s records, a search and seizure warrant, a coroner’s warrant, or an urgent demand for records in conjunction with a missing person.   
  • If there are reasonable grounds that an elderly person residing in a long-term care home or retirement home is being abused or neglected (LTCA; RHA) 
  • PHIPA permits, when there are reasonable grounds, a disclosure to eliminate or reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm to self or others 

Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Students taking part in a wellness group

Client Rights and Responsibilities

  • be treated in a kind and respectful way in a welcoming and safe environment free of discrimination 
  • be clear about the services we provide, what you can expect from counselling and what will be asked of you in this process 
  • know the names and educational backgrounds of our therapists 
  • be informed about confidentiality, consent, or refuse/withdraw from service, and understand the potential implications of such decisions 
  • view or receive a copy of your therapy record and request amendment if you believe the record is inaccurate, ask questions and express any concerns you may have 
  • being courteous and respectful of other clients and Student Counselling Centre staff 
  • respecting the privacy and confidentiality of other clients 
  • providing complete and accurate information to the best of your ability 
  • letting your therapist know if you are outside the province of Ontario if receiving telecounselling  
  • letting your therapist know if you have any questions or concerns about the work that you are doing together 
  • arriving at your appointments on time, if you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, you will need to reschedule 
  • providing advanced notice if you are unable to attend an appointment 
  • being an active participant in the assessment, decision-making, and therapy process  
  • recognizing that the needs of other clients may be more urgent than your own, please be patient