At Children's Mental Health Services (CMHS), we are committed to meeting the highest standards with respect to the collection, use, disclosure, storage, retention, and destruction of the personal health information of clients. We are committed to meeting or exceeding the privacy standards established by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) and relevant legislation, including the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).
What Type of Information We Collect
We collect your personal information such as:
Name, address, date of birth, and health card number
Personal and family information related to your assessment, counselling, and/or treatment
How We Use Your Information
We collect personal information in order to provide you with the best care that we can. We will explain to you the potential uses of your information, including:
Complying with legal and regulatory requirements
Conducting quality improvement and risk management activities
Contacting individuals regarding upcoming events, activities, and programs that may be of interest to you
Educating CMHS staff
Educating CMHS staff on the provision of health care
Evaluating and monitoring programs and services
Planning and delivering programs and services
Providing assessment, counselling, treatment planning, and service provision
Sharing information with other CMHS staff involved in your care
When We Disclose Your Information
We will only disclose your information with consent or as permitted/required by law. Unless you ask us not to, we will disclose your information to other health information custodians involved in your care.
Your express consent will be required before:
Releasing clinical assessments or reports
Disclosing information with school, child welfare, or other organizations providing service who are not health information custodians involved in providing your care
Withdrawing and/or Withholding Consent
You may withdraw or withhold consent at any time. This means that you may ask us not to disclose particular information or not to disclose information to a particular person unless we are otherwise permitted or required to do so.
No Consent Required
There are a number of limited circumstances where we will disclose your information without your consent. These include:
If there is suspicion of child abuse
If a child may need the protection of a Children’s Aid Society
If someone is in danger of harming themselves or others
If a court orders the release of information
Security of Information
Your information is securely stored and protected by administrative, physical, and electronic safeguards. Only authorized individuals can access your information.
You will be notified if your information is lost, stolen, used, or disclosed without proper authorization.
Access to Your Information
Active clients may request access or corrections to their record by contacting their CMHS worker. Former clients may request access or corrections to their record by contacting administration at firstname.lastname@example.org
Retention of Client Records
Client records are retained for a minimum of 10 years after the client’s 18th birthday, with the following exceptions and notes:
Residential treatment programs: client records are retained for 20 years after the last entry in the record with respect to the resident, or, where the resident dies, for 5 years after the death of the resident (CYFSA 2017, Reg.156/18, s.93(2)).
The Clinical Director and administrative staff are responsible for the destruction of files once each year. Hardcopy files are shredded by a professional company and electronic files are deleted. A cross-check is performed between a computer printout and the hardcopy files to ensure that all files are accounted for, and to prevent accidental destruction of files before the end of the period.
Privacy at CMHS
For questions or complaints relating to privacy and personal information, please contact our privacy officer at:
3 Applewood Dr, Suite 300
Belleville, ON K8P 4E3
Telephone: 613-966-3100, ext. 242
Toll Free: 1-844-462-2647, ext. 242
You may also contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) if you have a complaint about the way your information has been collected, used, or disclosed.
2 Bloor Street East
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Toronto Area: 416-326-3333
Toll Free: 1-800-387-0073