The service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI), formerly the Irish Association of University and College Counsellors (IAUCC). This means that your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside of the service without your expressed permission. However, there are some exceptions in relation to confidentiality. These include:
- Liaising with key people when there is a threat to your own wellbeing or the wellbeing of someone else, e.g., if you communicate plans of suicide or plans to harm someone else. Examples of such include your Next-of-Kin, ambulance staff, the Gardai, etc. Only the minimum number of people required to ensure your safety will be informed.
- Meeting legal requirements of the Children’s First policy (2015), psychologists and psychotherapists are mandated by law to report harm to children to the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA). Such harm includes assault, ill-treatment, neglect, or sexual abuse.
- Occasionally liaising with services/departments at the University of Limerick to verify student information in order to provide our service or assess our service delivery. For example, the Counselling Service may need to compare students who are at risk of dropping out of university against those who actually dropped out. This requires liaising with Academic Registry. Work such as this helps us know if the Counselling Service is providing a useful service to students and the university. Only quantitative information would communicated by such comparisons.
We maintain basic case notes on all students. These are kept in an electronic database which is password and fob protected. We engage in research, evaluations, and audits of our service from time to time. This requires employing unidentifiable, anonymised, aggregate data. Your personal details are not included in such research.