Your family will not be told. However, in very limited circumstances where there is an immediate threat to your life or someone else’s life and disclosure to an appropriate agency is likely to reduce that threat, that agency may informed. Any such threat would be thoroughly explored between the counsellor and the client before action is taken.

This is how the rule about disclosure of private information divulged to a counsellor is interpreted by the Information and Privacy Commission of NSW: [A counsellor] may use or disclose health information without the consent of the person to lessen or prevent:

  • a serious and imminent threat to the life health or safety of any person, or
  • a serious threat to public health or public safety

Such disclosure or use must be approached with caution. Situations of serious and imminent threat will be a relatively uncommon occurrence. [The counsellor] must reasonably believe that the use or disclosure of the health information is necessary to prevent that threat. You need to carefully assess the level of risk before acting.