Below are statements colleagues may use to express to students the limits of privacy in any conversation they may have. Review them and consider which one clearly sets the limits of what staff can offer, when they are supporting students in an informal setting.

Select one option from the answers below.

Staff member saying "It sounds like you’re really struggling at the moment, maybe if you tell me a little bit about what’s going on, I could signpost you to the right service and of course whatever we talk about will be confidential, unless you’re going to harm yourself or somebody else." Staff member saying "Maybe a chat would help and I’ll keep it private unless I think you or somebody else is in danger."

Staff member saying "I promise all our conversations are private, I won’t tell anybody."Staff member saying "I’ve got five minutes now if you’d like to talk, our conversation will be private and if someone is at risk I’ll leave it up to you to report."

Below are statements colleagues may use to express to students the limits of privacy in any conversation they may have. Review them and consider which one clearly sets the limits of what staff can offer, when they are supporting students in an informal setting.

Select one option from the answers below.

Staff member saying "It sounds like you’re really struggling at the moment, maybe if you tell me a little bit about what’s going on, I could signpost you to the right service and of course whatever we talk about will be confidential, unless you’re going to harm yourself or somebody else." Staff member saying "Maybe a chat would help and I’ll keep it private unless I think you or somebody else is in danger."

Staff member saying "I promise all our conversations are private, I won’t tell anybody."Staff member saying "I’ve got five minutes now if you’d like to talk, our conversation will be private and if someone is at risk I’ll leave it up to you to report."

Partially correct

This seems like a really good way to start a conversation with a student. There’s an acknowledgement that the student is in need, an invitation to tell them a little bit about what’s going on and a clear promise about what the next steps are i.e. signposting. The statement promises that the discussion will be private, unless the student is going to hurt themselves or someone else.

This is partially correct, as it does not allow for scenarios where the student has no intention of harming themselves or someone else but they are aware that another person may be in danger. This would include situations where a student is worried about the safety of a sibling or fellow student.

Below are statements colleagues may use to express to students the limits of privacy in any conversation they may have. Review them and consider which one clearly sets the limits of what staff can offer, when they are supporting students in an informal setting.

Select one option from the answers below.

Staff member saying "It sounds like you’re really struggling at the moment, maybe if you tell me a little bit about what’s going on, I could signpost you to the right service and of course whatever we talk about will be confidential, unless you’re going to harm yourself or somebody else." Staff member saying "Maybe a chat would help and I’ll keep it private unless I think you or somebody else is in danger."

Staff member saying "I promise all our conversations are private, I won’t tell anybody."Staff member saying "I’ve got five minutes now if you’d like to talk, our conversation will be private and if someone is at risk I’ll leave it up to you to report."

Correct

This a good statement to use, as it acknowledges the discussion will be confidential and uses language in a respectful and accessible way. It reminds the student that the conversation has limits and that the judgement about the disclosure of any risk rests with you and not the student.

This statement ensures the student is not being asked to take responsibility for assessing when action needs to be taken to reduce risk, but it allows the student to make an informed decision about what they tell you. They are giving you authority to make the judgement about whether a disclosure should be made.

Below are statements colleagues may use to express to students the limits of privacy in any conversation they may have. Review them and consider which one clearly sets the limits of what staff can offer, when they are supporting students in an informal setting.

Select one option from the answers below.

Staff member saying "It sounds like you’re really struggling at the moment, maybe if you tell me a little bit about what’s going on, I could signpost you to the right service and of course whatever we talk about will be confidential, unless you’re going to harm yourself or somebody else." Staff member saying "Maybe a chat would help and I’ll keep it private unless I think you or somebody else is in danger."

Staff member saying "I promise all our conversations are private, I won’t tell anybody."Staff member saying "I’ve got five minutes now if you’d like to talk, our conversation will be private and if someone is at risk I’ll leave it up to you to report."

Incorrect

We may feel compelled to offer people complete confidentiality, as we are often reassured by the idea of total privacy. However offering total confidentially could put you in a very difficult position. You may be left with very worrying information that you now feel guilty about having to disclose, or worse still hold on to risky information and not take further action. This kind of statement puts all parties at potential risk.

Below are statements colleagues may use to express to students the limits of privacy in any conversation they may have. Review them and consider which one clearly sets the limits of what staff can offer, when they are supporting students in an informal setting.

Select one option from the answers below.

Staff member saying "It sounds like you’re really struggling at the moment, maybe if you tell me a little bit about what’s going on, I could signpost you to the right service and of course whatever we talk about will be confidential, unless you’re going to harm yourself or somebody else." Staff member saying "Maybe a chat would help and I’ll keep it private unless I think you or somebody else is in danger."

Staff member saying "I promise all our conversations are private, I won’t tell anybody."Staff member saying "I’ve got five minutes now if you’d like to talk, our conversation will be private and if someone is at risk I’ll leave it up to you to report."

Incorrect

Again this statement acknowledges what you are offering in terms of hearing the student’s concerns. However it places responsibility for risk disclosures on the student. This is problematic as the student may lack insight as to the amount of risk they or others face and they may have proactively sought your support as they feel that you have the wisdom and insight they may not have available to them.