The Psychological Services Center has been assisting several other University offices, including McGrath Health and Wellness and the Campus Police, in developing a Sexual Trauma and Response Team here at Xavier. The team’s goals are to further develop a collaboration among all of the offices at Xavier, the faculty, staff, and student body to address the issue of sexual assault on campus and to educate the campus about the emotional and psychological effects of such an assault.
Someone who has been assaulted may experience a wide range of emotions, including anger, sadness, loss of control, confusion, and hopelessness. They, as well as their friends, may not know what the next step should be, or may not even realize the importance of seeking help. Talking with someone, such as a counselor, may help the person who has been assaulted to better cope with all of these overwhelming feelings.
If you have any further questions about sexual assault and/or rape or specifically about the Sexual Trauma and Response Team, please visit the PSC to pick up some information. Pamphlets will soon be available elsewhere on campus as well. Or you may call the PSC at 745-3531.
Welcome XU Women’s Center!
The Women’s Center offers valuable services and resources to the women of the Xavier community. The PSC fully supports the mission of the Women’s Center to empower women in the pursuit of their life goals, and we look forward to working with the Center in the future. For more information about the services provided by the Women’s Center, please visit the web-site.
What's New in Mental Health
Self Help Information
Are You Feeling Stressed Out???
Stress is a part of our every day life. For instance...
- Have your ever been driving home from the store, and someone cut you off, almost making you hit the curb??? OR
- Have you ever waited until the last minute to study for the French exam you have the next morning at 8:30 a.m. and it's already after midnight??? OR
- Has your boy/girlfriend of 10 months just told you "We should start seeing other people"???
If one, two or all of these scenarios sounds familiar, you are not alone. Stress affects us in many different ways. First, stress can begin to take an emotional toll. Some people who experience stress, experience severe symptoms and may begin to feel depressed or anxious all the time. Also, stress causes physical changes in our body such as increased heart rate and blood pressure. These physical changes are natural responses, but if our minds and bodies begin to experience chronic stress, our health and well-being can be threatened.
Did You Know?
- 75%-90% of visits to physicians are stress related
- Job stress is a major health factor costing businesses an estimated $150 billion annually
- Stress related disorders are a major cause of rapidly increasing health care costs
How Do I Know If I'm Too Stressed???
The National Mental Health Association came up with the following list of questions to ask yourself. If you answer yes to most of the following questions, you may want to consider some interventions to help alleviate stress.
- Do minor problems and disappointments upset you excessively?
- Do the small pleasures in life fail to satisfy you?
- Are you unable to stop thinking of your worries?
- Do you feel inadequate or suffer from self-doubt?
- Are you constantly tired?
- Do you experience flashes of anger over situations which used to not bother you?
- Have you noticed a change in sleeping or eating patterns?
- Do you suffer from chronic pain, headaches, or back aches?
How Did You Do???
If you said YES to most of the questions, consider the following suggestions:
- Meditate - just a few quiet minutes during the day can make a world of difference.
- Exercise - not only can exercise be fun, it is also quite healthy for the body and the mind.
- Eat Healthy Foods - stop driving through that drive-thru window every day. Take a few minutes in the morning or at night to pack a more healthy lunch.
- Keep a Journal - some people really enjoy writing down their thoughts at the end of a stressful day. Or, you may find it helpful to begin your day by writing a journal entry that centers around beginning another day that holds endless possibilities.
- Practice Being Flexible - If you find you are meeting an overwhelming amount of opposition in your academic, professional or personal life, it may be time to rethink your position or strategy. If you find yourself arguing with others until you are "blue in the face", it may be time to take a look at the world from a different framework. If you can make allowances for other people's opinions or perspectives, you may be amazed at how much calmer you can become.
- Practice Deep Breathing - when you get caught in a stressful situation, instead of reacting immediately, take a few quiet moments to relax and breath deeply. Breath in through your nose, counting to 10 and exhale through your mouth. You might want to close your eyes for an added calming effect.
- Know When to Ask for Help - some things you may not be able to handle on your own. Attempt to recognize when you are too stressed out. When you are feeling vulnerable, you can turn to a friend, coworker or relative. You may also want to talk to a professional as therapists are specially trained to help people through difficult life situations. If you think you might want to talk with someone who can help, you can call the Psychological Services Center at 745-3531.
HIPAA NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Uses and Disclosures Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Xavier University (the “University”) must adopt additional policies and procedures to protect the confidentially of your personal health information. In general, the University will not discuss your personal health information with others without your knowledge or consent. However, you should be aware that there are certain exceptions to confidentiality in order to provide you with comprehensive and adequate health care. Members of our staff are permitted to use and disclose your personal health information, without your authorization, for each of the following purposes:
- Treatment: “Treatment” is when our staff provides, coordinates, or manages your health care and other services related to your health care. An example of this is when a member of our staff consults with another health care provider, such as your family physician. However, in regard to psychological services, our staff will not disclose your confidential health information for treatment purposes without your informed consent.
- Payment: “Payment” is when our staff obtains reimbursement for your healthcare. Examples of payment are when a member of our staff shares your personal health information with your insurance plan to obtain reimbursement for the health care services you receive. However, in regard to psychological services, our staff will not disclose your confidential health information for payment purposes without your informed consent.
- 3Health Care Operations: “Health care operations” are activities that are related to the performance and operation of our practice. Examples include quality assessment and improvement activities, business-related matters such as audits and administrative services, and case management and care coordination. For example, our staff is permitted to share your personal health information with supervised students and trainees for training purposes. However, in regard to psychological services, our staff will not disclose your confidential health information for operational purposes without your informed consent. When any confidential psychological information is used as a basis of teaching, we shall exercise reasonable care to ensure that the reported material is appropriately disguised to prevent client identification.
- Required by Law: “Required by law” refers to any and all uses and disclosures that are required by local, state, or federal regulations. Examples include regulations regarding disclosures to health oversight agencies, judicial or administrative agencies, and law enforcement authorities. However, your physical and mental health information is protected and privileged information through your relationship with your physician or psychologist. Our staff must limit the use and disclosure of your personal health information to that which is expressly required by law. For example, if our staff receives a request for personal health information pursuant to a court order, our staff will only share those portions of your health information that are expressly authorized by such order.
- Public Health Activities: “Public health activities” refer to activities performed by certain public health authorities and government agencies as required by law. Examples include collection of information for purposes of preventing or controlling disease, injury, or disability. However, your physical and mental health information is protected and privileged information through your relationship with your physician or psychologist. For example, if our staff receives a request for personal health information from a public health authority in order to prevent disease, our staff will only share those portions of your health information that are expressly required by law.
- Child Abuse: If, in our professional capacity, we know or suspect that a child under 18 years of age or a mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired child under twenty-one years of age has suffered or faces a threat of suffering any physical or mental would, injury, disability , or condition of a nature that reasonably indicates abuse or neglect of the child, we are required to report that knowledge or suspicion to the Ohio Public Children Services Agency, or a municipal or county peace officer.
- Adult and Domestic Abuse: If we have reasonable cause to believe that an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, or is in a condition that is the result of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, we are required by law to immediately report such belief to the County Department of Job and Family Services.
- Serious Threat to Health or Safety: If we have actual knowledge, or have knowledge based on a credible representation by a person with apparent knowledge or authority, that you pose a risk of serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public, we may use or disclose protected health information to a person or persons reasonably able to prevent or lessen the threat, including the target of the threat. We may also disclose protected health information to law enforcement authorities as specified under federal and state laws.
If you communicate to one of our mental health staff an explicit threat of inflicting imminent and serious physical harm or causing the death of one or more clearly identifiable victims, and that staff member believes you have the intent and ability to carry out the threat, then the staff member is required by law to take one or more of the following actions in a timely manner: 1) take steps to hospitalize you on an emergency basis, 2) establish and undertake a treatment plan calculated to eliminate the possibility that you will carry out the threat, and initiate arrangements for a second opinion risk assessment with another mental health professional, 3) communicate to a law enforcement agency and, if feasible, to the potential victim(s), or victim’s parent or guardian if a minor, all of the following information: (a) the nature of the threat, b) your identity, and c) the identity of the potential victim(s).
All other uses and disclosures of your personal health information will be made pursuant to your written authorization and you may revoke such authorization at any time. An “authorization” is written permission from you granting our staff permission to disclose specific personal health information to a specified party and for a particular purpose. For example, we will need to obtain an authorization from you before releasing your psychotherapy notes. Psychotherapy notes are notes we have made about our conversation during a private, group, joint, or family counseling session, which we have kept separate from the rest of your medical file.
Additional Uses and Disclosures
The University staff is also permitted to use or disclose your personal health information without your authorization for the following additional activities:
- Appointment Reminders: The University staff is permitted to contact you to provide appointment reminders.
- Treatment Alternatives: The University staff is permitted to contact you about treatment alternatives or other health-related benefits and services that may be of interest to you.
You have the following rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996:
- Right to Request Restrictions – You have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of protected health information as provided by law; however, the University is not required to agree to your requested restrictions.
- Right to Receive Confidential Communications by Alternative Means and at Alternative Locations – You have the right to receive confidential communications of protected health information by alternative means and at alternative locations. (For example, you may not want a family member to know that you are receiving services from our staff. Upon your request, we will send your bills to another address.)
- Right to Inspect and Copy – You have the right to inspect and copy protected health information as well as psychotherapy notes as provided by law.
- Right to Amend – You have the right to amend protected health information as provided by law.
- Right to an Accounting – You have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of protected heath information as provided by law.
- Right to a Paper Copy of Notice – You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice.
Duties of Xavier University
The University is required by law to maintain the privacy of protected health information and provide individuals with notice of its legal duties and privacy practices with respect to protected health information.
The University is also required to abide by the terms of this Notice currently in effect.
Right to Revise Privacy Practices
The University reserves the right to change the terms of its Notice and to make the new notice provisions effective for all protected health information that it maintains. Upon request, we will provide you with the most recently revised Notice.
You may issue a complaint to our staff, the University, or to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services if you believe that your privacy rights have been violated. A complaint may be filed with the University by writing a letter to: Dr. J. Richard Hirté, Ph.D., Privacy Officer , Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207
Filing of a complaint will not result in any form of retaliation.
You may contact Dr. Susan L. Kenford, Director of the University’s Psychological Services Center or the Privacy Officer for the University for further information concerning the University’s privacy practices.
Effective Date: EFFECTIVE 4/14/2003 – REVISED 9/2010
Know When to Ask for Help - You may also want to talk to a professional as therapists are specially trained to help people through difficult life situations. If you think you might want to talk with someone who can help, you can call the Psychological Services Center at 745-3531.