The initial attendance to the service consists the signing of a confidential agreement. This involves the mental health professional working through a written agreement which involves standard questions and answers, an explanation of what to expect from attending the service and the client and mental health professional signing the agreement. It will also be explained in this agreement that the mental health professional has a duty of care to break confidentiality if they are concerned for the clients’ safety, the safety of another person or a child might be at risk of harm. If this break in confidentiality is required the mental health professional will inform the client and will offer support in the process.
This agreement is standard and just between the client and mental health professional for one to one counselling, support groups and workshops. It essentially emphasises the importance of confidentiality and the therapy process. In the case of a client under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must be present at the beginning of the initial session to sign consent for therapy to take place and acknowledge the necessary confidentiality between client and mental health professional.