Privacy and Confidentiality Policy
(How does Overcoming Problems plan to prevent and respond to privacy issues?)
People attend Overcoming Problems classes to solve everyday personal problems through the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhist Principles. Due to the nature of the classes, people may supply private and sensitive information that should not be discussed outside of the class environment. A safe environment is essential for supporting students in facing and addressing their problems, and the assurance that personal information that they choose to disclose is treated to maintain privacy and sensitivity. Note: Overcoming Problems is not a mental health service. If there is a mental health issue the student themselves must seek medical advice.
- To create a safe environment for all students to learn about themselves, social contact between students outside the centre is not permitted.
- Communicate appropriate guidelines of personal conduct for all students, which include that issues relating to privacy and confidentiality will be referred to the Centre’s Committee.
- Encourage the reporting of behaviour which may breach this policy.
- Treat all complaints in a sensitive, fair, timely and confidential manner.
Sensitive Information and Confidentiality
- During the course of classes, students may share information that is personally sensitive. Any personal information about other students and their families must be kept strictly confidential and not discussed outside the class setting. Within the class setting, students who have directly witnessed personally sensitive information are asked not address that topic with the student unless that student invites the conversation.
- The disclosure of personal and sensitive information about themselves or their families can be an important part of learning about themselves, so it is important to be mindful about what is said when students meet each other or their families. Due to the risk of breaching this confidentiality, social interaction between students outside the centre is not permitted, unless a prior relationship existed.
- Because personal information frequently concerns family members, students who have pre-existing friendships, family or relationships with other centre students or ex-students are asked to disclose the existence of that relationship with the Committee.
- Please respect your own and centre students’ (both past and present) privacy outside the centre and do not share contact details such as phone numbers and email addresses or access centre students’ online social networking tools including blogs, twitter and other online sharing mechanisms.
- AITHP maintains strict confidentiality with personal contact details and students may not have access to another student’s contact details.
- Students are encouraged to disclose any concerns about privacy or confidentiality with a committee member.
If the policy is breached
During course attendance, any incidents or issues (such as students socialising outside the centre) that place the safety of other students or visitors at personal risk will be investigated by the Committee. Students who breach this policy may be given a warning, or may be asked to discontinue their contact with the centre, depending on the severity of the situation.
Overcoming Problems uses an application form to collect information about new students which includes contact details, information on other courses studied, reason for interest in the course and any illnesses or injuries which may affect meditation.
Ongoing written records are not kept on students, apart from the form mentioned above.
Use and Disclosure
Application details are used within the Overcoming Problems committee to determine the applicant’s suitability for the course.
Where information is incomplete or inaccurate, a committee member or senior student will ask for additional information to be added to the application.
What do we do with the other forms once used?
Phone and email contact details are used to communicate program changes and events. Phone and email addresses are kept confidential throughout the duration of the course. Any students wishing to obtain contact information about another student must seek permission from a Committee member.