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Phone: 1-304-243-8152

Counseling: Risk Management

SECTION: Counseling NEXT REVIEW DATE: August 2017
APPROVED: August 2012 REVIEWER: Compliance Coordinator
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: November 2016

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To ensure the continued safety of individuals on campus and in the community the Counseling Center will track and report patterns of risk. This will also mitigate the risk to the University.


2.1 Policy Statement

2.1.1 Risk management matters will supersede all other legal parameters of confidentiality.

2.1.2 If the WJU Counselor detects a trend or pattern of presented issues that has a potential negative impact on student retention the counselor will report that to the consulting psychologist and designated administrator of the counseling service for further review and resolution.

2.2 Definitions

2.2.1 Risk Management - The relaying of information pertaining to the potential risk of injury to self or others to the university's administration for threat assessment.

2.2.2 Trends and patterns of risk - Inclusive terms that describe the emergence of risk behaviors in the campus culture. A recent example was of the introduction of high energy alcohol drinks that were being used by students before they were regulated by law.

2.3 Procedure

2.3.1 Excerpt from the Informed Consent and Authorization for Treatment: Notice of Privacy Practices that all service recipients are required to sign prior to service delivery:

"If we, or you, want to use or disclose (send, share, release) your information for any other purposes, we will discuss this with you and ask you to sign an Authorization form.
Of course we will keep your health information private, but there are some times when the laws require us to use or share it. For example:

  • When there is a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of another individual or the public. We will only share information with a person or organization that is able to help prevent or reduce the threat. The WJU Student Counseling Services adheres to legal and ethical standards, which require that all client information be held in confidence. Information disclosed during counseling sessions will not be released to anyone outside of the WJU Student Counseling Service without written permission except where disclosure is required by (i.e., suspicion of abuse of children, campus community risk or threat), where the client poses a serious threat of violence to another, or where the client is likely to harm him/herself unless protective measures are taken. Due to the propensity and occurrence of violence on university campuses the counselors at WJU Counseling Services actively participate in the campus risk management processes that address threats and risks to the community at large and to individuals in particular. Ethical participation in these processes is of highest priority to the safety of the campus. For such processes to be effective risk management discussions are based on ‘need to know' disclosures inclusive of information disclosed in the counseling processes. The emphasis on ‘need to know' is essential for the students receiving counseling services in these confidential processes. In the case of ‘mandated counseling assessment' the counselors will provide required information to the administration of the university to ensure safety, compliance and advocacy for you as a recipient of the service. "Mandated' counseling assessments generally occur after a pattern of risk has been established by the student. Please refer to the Student Handbook or consult with the Director of Residence Life for further explanation of this Student Conduct process.
  • In the event of an emergency, your case may be referred to another licensed/license-eligible professional counselor with the WJU Student Counseling services to provide continuity of care.
  • Some lawsuits and legal or court proceedings.
  • If a law enforcement official requires us to do so."

2.3.2 The Counselors will report trends and patterns of risk up through clinical supervision and administrative structures. The Behavioral Intervention Team will be made aware of all trends and patterns that pose an immediate threat and require emergency intervention will be handled according to that policy.


The Director of the Counseling Center may change this policy at any time, with or without notice, to maintain compliance with changes in regulations. All changes must be approved by the Compliance Coordinator.



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