Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act

Responsible Division Division of Academic Affairs
Responsible University Office Student Affairs
Responsible Officer(s) Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of Counseling and Consultation Services
Contact Person Brooke Ruxton, bruxton@niu.edu
Primary Audience Student
Status Active
Effective Adoption Date 01-01-2016
Last Review Date 11-12-2018
Policy Category/Categories Student Affairs

Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act (110 ILCS 74)

In accordance with the Illinois Student Optional Disclosure of Private Mental Health Act all incoming students at the university are provided with the opportunity to designate an individual over age 18 to be contacted if a physician, clinical psychologist, or other qualified examiner (i.e. mental health professional) determines the student poses a clear danger to himself, herself, or others. 

Students are provided with information regarding the process to designate a contact upon enrollment at the institution.  They can update their information through their MyNIU page; they can also decline to provide this information through MyNIU.  This mental health contact is separate from the official university emergency contact and the missing persons contact (also required by Illinois law).  Contact information is stored by the registrar’s office in the university database.

In the event that a qualified examiner determines that a student poses a clear danger to himself, herself, or others, they are required to notify the students’ identified mental health contact of the determination within 24 hours.

The university has identified the following departments as employing staff that are defined as “qualified examiners:”

  • Community Counseling Training Clinic
  • Counseling and Consultation Services
  • Couple and Family Therapy Clinic
  • Health Services
  • Psychological Services Center

Each departmental unit is provided with access to MyNIU student database and training to access this contact information through support of the registrar’s office.  Each unit is responsible for implementing a protocol and training that aligns with the department’s structure.

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