Your Confidentiality

Your Confidentiality

Your privacy and confidentiality is important as the counselor assesses your needs and makes the necessary recommendations. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the Crisis Line’s confidentiality policies and what they mean to you.

What is the Confidentiality Policy of the Crisis-Line?

The Crisis-Line has very strict rules concerning the release of information. The caller’s number and location does come up onscreen with each call. However, the information shared is only recorded in summary form, referred to in the case of a repeat caller (same person), tabulated only in generalities for the purpose of refining the services, and released to no one (including universities, families, Grad Resources or others) except in extreme cases (such as death of the caller or upon their permission).

How are the Crisis Line counselors trained in or sensitive to graduate student issues?

Counselors were trained through the normal course of manuals, seminars, and monitored instruction (along with regular evaluation) as required by the National Hopeline Network. They and their trainers were also part of a day-long seminar presented by Nick Repak from Grad Resources and Dr. Mary Frances Seeley from Hotline Consultants Inc. on the stresses and challenges faced by grad students. This seminar, and the discussion which followed, were videotaped for future use in training other counselors. As callers began utilizing the service, there were opportunities for the counselors to consult together on the issues that were recurring and to discuss together the best means of counseling the callers.

What is the follow-up policy for callers?

Referrals include the local university mental health services, the campus crisis hotlines if they have them, community services (when available), off-campus help, or emergency rooms if these are the only after-hour services available.

What kind of information is shared with local services?

All partnerships discussed are between the Crisis Line and the local campus mental health services. None of these have any affiliation with Grad Resources. No information is shared with them except at the request of the caller (i.e., when conferencing in local support persons while caller is on the line). See also above answer regarding follow-up policy.

Since phone and address information generally pops up on a screen, is this information recorded and saved in any way?

No university administrators are given information about the caller unless the caller gives permission (some emergency personnel are given general statements about the person if it is necessary to treat them — i.e., someone has said they are about to do harm). Grad Resources does not receive this information and makes no attempt to follow-up with callers for future contact.