Our overall goal is to make Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) a place where you feel safe to talk about personal concerns. We follow professional guidelines of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Counseling Association as well as the legal statutes established in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Written records of your contact with CAPS are not part of your academic record, and we will not disclose information about you to any other office or individual unless you have signed CAPS’ written authorization to release information.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
- If there exists a substantial likelihood that in the near future you may cause serious harm to yourself or others, or that you will suffer serious harm due to a lack of capacity to protect yourself from harm or to provide for your basic human needs, we need to ensure that all concerned parties are safe. In addition, the Code of Virginia may require George Mason to notify your parents in the situation described above if you are a dependent, (Virginia Code 37.2-809 and 23-9.2:3).
- If you report information indicating a reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect of a child or incapacitated adult, Virginia law mandates mental health professionals to report this information to Child or Adult Protective Services (Virginia Code 63.2-1509).
- A valid court order or subpoena, issued by a judge, could compel us to disclose relevant information in a legal proceeding or investigation.
- By Virginia code, if the university threat assessment team receives information that results in the team opening an investigation for you, CAPS may be required to provide information in your CAPS record to the team as part of their investigation (Virginia Code 23-9.2:10).