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Confidentiality of Mental Health Information: Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues

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About the Course:

This article focuses on the issue of confidentiality, discussing why it is central to therapy and describing various exceptions to confidentiality laws. Arguments in favor of more consistency among different states, such as a federal confidentiality law are offered.

Please Note: Many have found this course material very helpful, but it does lack newer information on HIPAA. Readers are encouraged to study HIPPA requirements and integrate it with information in this course.

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Confidentiality of Mental Health Information: Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues created by Surgeon General of the United States

Publication Date:


Course Material Author

Surgeon General of the United States

Chapter 7 of Surgeon General Report

Course Creator

Keith Gibson, Ph.D.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about mental health ethical issues. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. to discuss the principles that underlie patient confidentiality

  2. to state exceptions to patient confidentiality

  3. to describe how information technology and managed care have impacted on confidentiality

Article: Confidentiality of Mental Health Information: Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues

This public domain article is reproduced from the Surgeon General

Article: Confidentiality of Mental Health Information: Ethical, Legal, and Policy Issues

Exam Questions

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Course Retired
Course Number 9550
2 credit hours
Log in for credit hours relevant to your licensure.

  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee: No Longer Available

No Cost Materials

4.32 out of 5
4870 members have taken this course

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