Confidentiality & Your Cadet
All counseling records are kept strictly confidential and are not a part of the cadet’s education record. No information may be released to any party, including parents, unless authorized in writing by the cadet. This includes information about whether or not a cadet is being seen for counseling at the CCC.
At times, parents may have questions or concerns about their cadet. Parents are welcome to contact the CCC to share concerns, or with general questions about our services or mental health issues. However, please keep in mind that counselors will not be able to speak with you about your son or daughter’s counseling unless he or she has signed a release of information.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
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.
A Note For Parents of Cadets Under the Age of 18
Parental consent is required in order for cadets under the age of 18 to seek counseling at the CCC (except during psychological emergencies). When a cadet expresses interest in beginning counseling, one of our licensed clinicians will contact his or her parent/legal guardian in order to obtain a signed consent (link to consent). While parents can legally have access to counseling records of cadets under the age of 18, we strongly recommend that parents refrain from this. Privacy and confidentiality are key in creating the safe environment cadets need in order to openly address their concerns.