TUS Student Counselling Service offers a professional psychological counselling service to all students of TUS. Counselling is provided by a team of professionally qualified counsellors/psychotherapists.
The service is confidential and operates within the terms of confidentiality as laid down by the Counsellors Professional Registration bodies (IACP, PSI, IAHIP). We are also committed to complying with our obligations under data protection laws. This means that your personal details are not disclosed to anyone outside the service without your expressed permission, except in exceptional circumstances described in this document.
The purpose of this privacy notice is to outline how TUS Student Counselling Service collects, uses and shares your personal data and your rights in relation to the personal data we hold on you.
What information do we collect?
We collect personal information from you when you register to use the counselling service, and during your attendance at counselling.
Registration information includes name, telephone and email contact details, and other relevant personal information that the service needs to process your registration. When you attend for counselling sessions brief notes of the sessions are also kept in line with good practice guidelines.
Your records and counselling notes are held on a secure, GDPR compliant record management system.
Your record will include (in addition to the personal details above) other relevant information such as referral details, letters, assessments, emails and notes of other contacts relevant to you e.g. emergency contact. This system is encrypted, and has strict security measures, meaning nobody outside of the Student Counselling Service can access these details. Your identity and counselling records/notes are not shared with anyone unless we are legally required to do so. Counselling Service files are not attached to any academic record within the university.
One of the terms of using this service is that you give us an active telephone number and student email address. We also require that you give us details for an *emergency contact person. This is to ensure that we can provide an efficient and safe service for you.
*Please let your emergency contact know that you have given us their name and number.
Our basis for collecting this information is referred in Regulation (EU) 2016/679 GDPR: Article 6 (1)(d) Processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another individual. Also *Article 9 Paragraph (9) Processing of special categories of personal data.
Where do we get your personal data from?
- We obtain personal data about you from the following sources:
- From you when you register with us and use the service.
- From other university departments, e.g. Health Centre nurse or doctor, chaplaincy, Faculty, as a referral
- From services or individuals outside of TUS, as a referral to the service
Why do we collect your data?
- We collect your data in order to:
- Verify your identity
- Provide you with the service you have requested
- Create your client file and book your appointment(s)
- Send appointment reminders, or updates regarding appointments
- Send updates regarding programmes/services that are relevant to student mental health and wellbeing
- Contact you in the case of a data breach
Do we share your data?
Access to client records is regulated to ensure that they are used only to the extent necessary to enable our staff to perform their tasks for the proper functioning of the service. In this regard, clients should understand that the service administrator may have access to their name and contact details for the scheduling and prioritising of appointments.
On some occasions it may be necessary to request that you give permission for us to communicate relevant information, about you, to other health and social care professionals in order to provide you with the treatment and services you need e.g. GP Referrals/Consultants. These other professionals are also legally and ethically bound to treat your information with the same duty of care and confidentiality as we do. You are entitled to refuse consent to information sharing, but should be aware of the implications of your choice in terms of accessing services within TUS, external services and for your treatment progress.
There are instances when we may have to share information about you without seeking your prior consent:
- If there is a serious demonstrable risk to health or life (yours or others);
- Where child protection issues arise we are legally mandated to report to TUSLA.
- Where notes/records are subpoenaed by a court.
- Students can request their own data from the service. Where a third party requests this information our protocol is to provide the data directly to the student.
All of our counsellors are required to engage in regular professional supervision as part of their professional development and to maintain their accreditation with relevant bodies (e.g. IACP, PSI, IAHIP). During supervision they reflect upon their work with their clients with an experienced and appropriately qualified supervisor. Client confidentiality practices are strictly adhered to and no identifying information is revealed.
Student Counselling Service compiles an annual report which contains anonymised data relating to client demographics and student presenting issues. These overall statistics are available within TUS. They also form part of aggregate annual statistics generated by PCHEI (Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland) third level institutions across the country. TUS SCS also collects anonymous evaluation data from students using electronic evaluation forms. This evaluation cannot identify the student responding.
All data collected is used anonymously for research, reporting and statistical purposes.
How long do we keep your personal data?
Once you finish with the counselling service, all data regarding your counselling is stored securely for 7 years and then destroyed confidentially.
Is the data held securely?
Your personal data is held electronically on an encrypted record management system. Access to this system is by individual, password protected login, we use a two-factor authentication process which ensures a high level of security. Access is limited to relevant counselling service staff.
Your rights in relation to your data
- You have the following rights in relation to personal data held on you:
- the right to be informed about the collection and use of their personal data
- the right to access and receive a copy of their personal data, and other supplementary information
- the right for individuals to have inaccurate personal data rectified, or completed if it is incomplete.
- The right for individuals to have personal data erased in certain circumstances
- The right to request the restriction or suppression of their personal data in certain circumstances
- The right to data portability allows individuals to obtain and reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services
- the right to object to the processing of their personal data in certain circumstances.
- The right to not be subject to solely automated decision;
Further information on your individual rights Technological University of the Shannon (tus.ie)
If you have any questions in relation to how we process your personal data or are unhappy with how your personal data has been processed you can contact email@example.com.