In accordance with the Illinois Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act (the “Act”, P.A. 99-278), a student’s mental health information is considered private in nature and will not be released to a third party without that student’s prior written consent, unless otherwise provided by other state or federal laws.
A student who desires to authorize disclosure of certain private mental health information about himself or herself to a designated person for purposes set out in the Act must complete a Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information Form, which shall be made available on a link included on the College’s website: www.mchenry.edu/ferpa. This Form must be submitted to Student Life (Beth Pecoraro) The form will remain valid until the student revokes his or her authorization by notifying the College in writing that he or she is withdrawing this authorization.
In the event that a qualified examiner, who is employed by the College in that capacity, determines that a student poses a clear danger to the student or others, the qualified examiner will verify that the student has completed and provided the College with a Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information Form designating a person to whom the College is authorized to disclose this information.
If the student has filed a Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Information Form, the qualified examiner shall, as soon as practicable but no more than 24 hours after making the determination described above, attempt to contact and notify the designated person that the qualified examiner has made a determination that the student poses a clear, imminent danger to themselves, or others. The College shall document any and all attempts of the qualified examiner to reach the designated person.
McHenry County College may not always employee individuals who have the credentials to serve as “qualified examiners” within the meaning of the Act, who are in a position to make the mental health determination described above. Nor is the College required to employ such individuals. Therefore, the College cannot assure a student that it will be able to disclose the student’s condition to the person that the student has designed to received confidential mental health information about him or her in the circumstances provided for in the Act,
The Director of Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services shall periodically review whether the College employs a “qualified examiner” who is in a position to make the determinations provided for in the Act.
Finally, consistent with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g and its regulations at 34 CFR § 99.36 (“FERPA”), the College may, in situations where a health or safety emergency exists, disclose confidential personally identifiable information about a student without his or her consent, to any individuals the College reasonably determines to be in need of that information for public health and safety reasons, subject to the conditions and limitations set out in FERPA.