Confidentiality Issues

In accord with legal and ethical principles governing the delivery of counseling and psychological services in the state of Iowa, the UCS observes strict confidentiality with respect to a student’s status as a client. This means that all conversations between student clients and UCS staff members are considered private and are protected from disclosure to any third party, including University officials or administrators, by state statute.

The UCS is designated as a confidential resource in University policies pertaining to harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and violence. This means that a student can come to the UCS and discuss concerns related to any of these policies without triggering a mandatory report to a University official.

A student client may authorize sharing of information regarding her or his contact with the UCS by completing a valid release of information form at the UCS. A valid release of information form includes, at a minimum, the client's name, student identification number, the name of specific individual(s) to receive confidential information, the purpose of such information, a time limit authorizing release of information, and an acknowledgement that the information to be released is of a mental/health, substance abuse, and or HIV/AIDS related nature. Students who are under the age of 18 are not able to provide valid consent to the release of information by themselves, and must also obtain written parental authorization to receive ongoing counseling services from the UCS.

Exceptions to this strict policy on confidentiality in cases involving real and imminent danger of harm to either the client or other persons or cases involving a subpoena or court order for information are always made in consultation with either the Assistant Director for Clinical Services--UCS or the Director--UCS. If you have any questions at all about confidentiality issues, please phone the UCS at (319) 335-7294 and ask to speak with one of our clinical staff members.