Privacy and Confidentiality
All your personal information, including details relating to your presence at our counselling service, will not be disclosed to a third party without your consent. However, there are some situations in which counsellors may have to pass on personal information when there is a serious concern of danger or harm, or when required by law to disclose.
As counsellors, we may ask you to provide certain personal data (including health and employment) or obtain data from an appropriate third party such as your medical, healthcare, employment and/or academic history solely for your counselling needs. Counsellors are not medical doctors and therefore are not registered with the Medical Council of Hong Kong. Hence, there are no medical records on file except for the counsellor’s notes that are private and confidential. Therefore the sessions’ notes will not be released to any third party except when they are subpoenaed by the Court. It is a primary duty to ensure our clients feel safe and that their counselling needs are being provided in a confidential, safe, highly professional, effective and caring manner.
However, in the event of exceptional cases such as foreseeable harm to self, others and/or a child, St John’s Cathedral Counselling Service, legally and ethically by way of Article 14 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and the professional code of ethics from the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy and the American Psychiatric Association, may disclose certain information to an appropriate health/legal/government party.
With respect to Hong Kong’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, St John’s Cathedral Counselling Service is vigilant with regards to the Six Data Protection Principles as recommended by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Hong Kong).
At St John’s Cathedral Counselling Service, our Duty of Care Policy requires us to report child abuse cases to the Social Welfare Department to ensure the safety and well-being of children and their families. All counsellors employed by St John’s Cathedral Counselling Service are required to obtain a Sexual Conviction Record (SCR) from the Hong Kong Police Force department to ensure safety to our clients and that no sexual offence has been committed by our counsellors.