How Michael White Psychology can Help
Privacy & Consent
Confidentiality, Privacy, and Consent:
Confidentiality: Psychology services are confidential health services that are protected under the Health Information Protection Act, the same as services from your medical doctor. Some assessments may require information to be shared between your psychologist and schools and/or other health providers to ensure there is an accurate picture of your situation. By law signed release of information forms are required in such cases. There are some legal limitations to confidentiality. All health professionals are required to release records in these five cases:
- When the client is at risk for imminent danger to themself or to another person.
- Where there is reasonable belief that a child is in need of protection.
- When a valid court order is issues for health records.
- When a client is mentally or cognitively unfit to drive a car.
- When required by the Saskatchewan College of Psychologists as part of a discipline process.
In cases where disclosure is required, the information shared is limited to the minimum required to meet legal obligations.
Mike White may consult with other psychologists and health professionals to help provide appropriate care and ensure an accurate diagnosis. During those consultations identifying information is not shared.
If a child consents in their own right as a “mature minor” to psychology services parents do not have a right to access that child’s record. Once a client reaches the age of 18 parents no longer have any access to their child’s records.
Michael White Psychology Services uses a variety of online services for assessment and record keeping purposes. Contracted companies share the requirements to maintain client confidentiality and follow applicable legislation. OWL Practice is used to maintain all client records and billings. This includes the storage counselling notes, assessment records, reports, and correspondence. Assessment providers including Pearson Canada (Q-Global and Q-Interactive), Multi-Health Systems, Nelson Canada, and other companies as required may also have some personal information required to ensure accurate assessment results.
A client’s informed consent is essential when providing psychology services. Consent is considered to be an ongoing process and is more than signing a piece of paper. It is important for the client to understand the implications and alternatives to psychological care. Consent may be revoked at any time by the client. If consent is revoked all existing records (including reports) are maintained.
Consent for children under the age of 18 is more complicated. Saskatchewan does not have a minimum age for a minor to consent for health treatment on their own. Generally, a child is considered “a mature minor” if they can understand and make their own decisions. However, a minor cannot legally contract (promise) to make payments for psychology services. Children usually have the best outcomes when both legal parents' consent to psychological counselling and/or assessment. In situations of divorce, joint custody is assumed unless there is an order of sole custody allowing one parent to make all decisions. Traditional adoption and alternative caregiving arrangements for Indigenous children will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Consent for competent adults is a matter between the client and the psychologist alone.