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Mental Health Use this forum to share your mental health concerns and to seek advice.

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Make Believe Offline
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Confidentiality :/ - September 3rd 2010, 11:37 AM

I just had a thought. Yesterday I seen a mental health nurse for the first time and I told her a LOT I don't want my parents (or a lot of friends for that matter) to know :/ Such as self-harm, how I've been very tempted to O.D., how I've smoked weed, bullying etc. I've hidden most of those things too long to come out with them now.

The woman made me sign a form before we started talking about how everything is confidential but if she needed to reccomend (sp?) me to someone else she would have to give them my form which she written down in. I signed this as I thought fair enough and I don't care if another therapist or whatever knew.

Then at the end she told me I would be receiving a letter in about a week saying if they have reccomended me to someone else or if I will continue to see her. Thing is I live with my parents and my dad opens my mail (well, medical mail anyway) _____ Would anything about the self harm, bullying, O.D.s be wrote about in that latter? since it's addressed to me? :/

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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 3rd 2010, 12:09 PM

Is there a way you can contact her to ask her? Maybe even someone on a helpline might know.

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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 3rd 2010, 01:22 PM

Hey Ceilidh!

A few things I feel like you should do: firstly, make sure your dad's not opening your mail! If it's addressed to you, I feel like that's overstepping your bounds. Medical mail or not, it is addressed to you, and I feel like they should hold you accountable for telling them if something's up. Anyway, off that tangent..

If she's simply recommending you go to someone else, I don't imagine she'll go into much details about why - chances are, you already know, why? She'll probably give you the contact information for the person and send you on your way with that (although speaking from experience, 'snail mail' addressed to the person in question IS a valid method of contact - so there's no positive answer ... every person/place is going to be different). If you're worried about it, you could always contact her to voice your concerns just to be on the safe side, as Shelley suggested.

Good luck! I hope it works out.

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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 3rd 2010, 03:16 PM

I have got the number for the clinic so I suppose I could ask for her I never thought of that -is dumb - I always tell my dad not to look in my mail but he does it anyway ____ he's the same with my sister and she's 25 :/

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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 3rd 2010, 05:32 PM

i have counselling and they wouldnt contain details of what me and my counsellor talk about in a letter, just the new appointment times or whatever, so even if he does open it, he'll find out about counselling, not what u have said. However, i think you shud remind him its against the law to unlawfully open someone else's mail (my dads a postman i no these things) and that you want ur privacy respected.
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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 14th 2010, 02:56 PM

It was a flagrant violation of privacy, but it seems unlikely that you would get anywhere with your complaint. Remember that if you do not complain that much sure things work and affect the references provided for future employment.
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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 14th 2010, 03:57 PM

My psychiatric nurse used to send me photocopied summaries of our sessions and other letters that she used to send to my GP which often did include things that I'd mentioned and did contain information about my self-harm and overdosing. I'd contact your mental health nurse - either via telephone or at your next session- and ask her if she'd just give you any letters in sessions or if she could call you if she needed to contact you, rather than send you mail. It's better to be safe than sorry.
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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 14th 2010, 06:40 PM

This might seem like an obvious solution, but is there a way you can get to the mail before your dad does and just take your letter out of the pile so he doesn't even know it was there? Either way I would still call to see what's in there that way you don't have to go through the trouble of intercepting the mail if it's not necessary.

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Re: Confidentiality :/ - September 16th 2010, 06:21 AM

It is sensitive medical information so she wouldn't include a lot of information but if she did, you could contact her and ask her to deliver the message via e-mail or some other way because you fear your father will see the contents. At most, the information would be the alternative person you'll see, where, when, contact info and the name of the hospital/building or if it's the same one. It may also say the person is s specialist in whatever illness, which would be the only clue. She would not send any more detail than that.

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