We know that our services are confidential, but we also know that this message doesn't reach all students.
Some students who would like to have counselling don't come and see us because they think it will go on their records - their university records, their GP records, or both. This is a real shame because so many students benefit from the support we offer.
So please be assured that using our service does not get recorded anywhere else - unless you decide that you want this. The only exceptions to this are if a student poses a risk of severe harm to themselves, to others or are at risk from others, but such circumstances are exceptionally rare. Perhaps the best evidence we have that our service is confidential are the hundreds of students who access it each year.
If you are thinking about coming to speak to us but have understandable concerns about confidentiality hopefully this section has reassured you.
Confidentiality and Data Protection Act
We offer a confidential service. Staff in Student and Academic Services (SAAS) have access to the appointment booking calendar, but this information is kept confidential within SAAS support services. No one would know the details or the content of the counselling sessions. The information you give to us may be shared with other members of the counselling team in order for us to be able to provide you with the best support possible. We will not pass on information about you to others without your express permission, except in exceptional circumstances. This is usually where there are concerns that either yourself or someone else is suffering, or at risk of significant harm. If your needs would be best met by some joint working with other staff or your GP then we would ask for your informed consent to do this.
In order to offer you a professional service we need to keep relevant records of your contact with us and these are kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. These will remain confidential within the service, except in the unlikely event that they are requested as evidence in court. Records are retained securely for 7 years (from the end of the academic year of your last appointment) and then disposed of confidentially. The records are owned by Counselling and Wellbeing.
A DMU student's experience
"Knowing that attending counselling would not go on my uni records was a big relief. The confidentiality really mattered. Thank you for all of your help. I think if it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't have continued with the year, so really I mean it, thank you." (L, Art, Design and Humanities)