Mental Health Services Definitions
Mental Health Emergency
A mental health emergency is when an individual's mental or emotional condition results in behavior that constitutes an imminent danger to that individual or to another person. Emergencies require immediate attention. The following are indications of a mental health emergency: (1) suicidal intentions, plans, or attempts; (2) homicidal intentions, plans, or actions; (3) loss of contact with reality, which may include hallucinations, delusions, or extremely abnormal behavior causing a campus disturbance or disruption; (4) disorientation, extreme confusion, unresponsiveness, uncontrolled behavior, extremely irrational or incoherent speech.
An individual may experience a mental health crisis when unexpected or overwhelming life events create an abnormal situation for a normal person. One's usual capacity to cope is exceeded or exhausted. External support may not exist or be unavailable. Examples include the death of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, being in an automobile collision, or increasing difficulty managing the stressors of daily life. Crisis intervention is a process to assist individuals in finding adaptive solutions to unsettling events.
Mental Health Assessment
Mental health assessment involves the integration of information from multiple sources, such as personal and medical history, description of current symptoms and problems, and sometimes other information such as psychological test results. All mental health professionals do some level of assessment when providing services to clients, and may use checklists or inventories to assess traits or symptoms. The interview during the first meeting with a mental health professional is structured to gain information used for assessment. Assessment is an ongoing process. The aims of assessment are to provide a diagnosis, to determine an individual's level of function or disability, to help plan and direct the appropriate services, and to measure the outcome of the services or treatment intervention.
Students who are not in crisis may have emotional concerns that are keeping them from functioning adequately in their daily lives. Counseling is available to help individuals address their current, most troubling concerns. If the student may benefit from services not offered in Mental Health Services, such as a certain therapy or psychiatric consultation, or if the student is leaving TCC, referrals will be offered to mental health professionals in the Tallahassee community. Some students may be further helped by other student services at TCC, such as Career Services or Disability Support Services.
Confidentiality of Communication between Mental Health Professional and Client
Federal and State laws and professional codes of ethics emphasize the importance of confidentiality of the communication in the counseling relationship. Client information is confidential unless the client provides written consent to disclose specified information. However, laws and ethics define certain situations when mental health professionals are required to disclose otherwise confidential client information. These situations are: (1) when there is a reasonable suspicion of past or current child, elder, or dependent adult abuse; (2) when the client presents a danger to self, to others, and/or to property; and (3) when ordered by a court of law.
TCC Mental Health Services records are not included in any of the student's other college records. Information about the student, even acknowledgment of visits, is confidential and cannot be released without written permission.