All counseling services provided by the Center for Cadet Counseling (CCC) are confidential. Information about what a cadet discusses with his/her counselor cannot be shared without written permission. The only exceptions to these strict confidentiality rules are rare instances where clinicians are required to reveal particular information by federal or state laws.
Such exceptions include when:
- We believe that there is a substantial likelihood that a client will cause serious physical harm to her/himself or another person unless protective measures are taken. In these cases, Virginia law mandates that the parents of dependent students must be notified of the situation.
- We have reasonable cause to believe that a child is being abused or neglected or an aged or incapacitated adult is being subject to abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
- We receive a court order upon good cause shown or in compliance with a subpoena.
- We receive a request for information by a threat assessment team at a public institution of higher education.
- We are approached by authorized federal officials for information related to national security and intelligence activities. By law, we may not be able to reveal to the client when we have disclosed such information to the government.
- We need to seek legal advice from VMI’s Policy & Legal Affairs Advisor.
- The parents of a minor (i.e., a client who is under the age of 18) request information.
If and when these exceptions occur, the Counselors will strive to work collaboratively with a cadet when confidential information needs to be released.
Cadets who would like to share information regarding their treatment can do so by filling out a Release of Information with their counselor. In the release, a cadet can specify the nature of the information they would like disclosed and the time frame in which that disclosure is permitted. If you sign a written authorization allowing us to disclose information, you can later cancel your authorization in writing, and we will not disclose any further information after we receive your cancelation.
Questions or Complaints about Confidentiality
If you are concerned that we have violated your privacy rights or disagree with a decision we made about access to your records, you may contact the Director of the CCC, LTC Sarah Jones, at (540) 464-7667. All complaints must be submitted in writing. If you file a complaint, we will not take action against you or change our treatment of you in any way.