The Westmont Counseling Center is available for consultations to those who have concerns about students. This includes faculty, staff, parents, and other students.
One option is to talk to a counselor regarding concerns, without naming a particular student. The counselor would be able to review pertinent emotional and ethical issues.
If there are concerns about a student who would be named and thought to be in counseling, that student could be asked if they would be willing to sign a “Consent for the Release of Information” form. This form, available at the Counseling Center requires the student signature, the counselor signature, the name of the person to whom the information is going to, and the specific nature of the information to be released. No information would be released without the student’s written permission. Sometimes students do not want any information released and will not sign the form. While difficult for those concerned, the wishes of the student would be respected.
Sometimes concerned faculty, staff, parents, or students wish to provide information to a counselor, fully respecting confidentiality, with no expectation of any feedback from the counselor. The counseling staff is able to hear this information and utilize it as applicable. What is important to know is that it is the counselor’s prerogative whether to tell the student that someone gave the counselor information about them, who gave it, and what was said. The trusting, confidential relationship between student and counselor is the absolute priority. Withholding information, unless that information is detrimental to the student, may compromise the therapeutic relationship. We strongly encourage those with concerns about a student to talk directly and sensitively with that student, encourage them to go to counseling if they have not already done so, and if they are in counseling, to bring those concerns to their counselor.
The exceptions to confidentiality still apply, as stated in the previous section.
Law requires these disclosures.