There are limits to the information that can be shared about students and with whom it can be shared. Privacy law (The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)) and the Australian Privacy Principles guide how we consult in the case of suicidal or distressed students. Privacy legislation allows staff to discuss their concerns about a student with their supervisor or colleague to help resolve a situation while protecting a student’s confidentiality. Generally, you cannot disclose a person’s personal information to anyone, including their family, without their prior consent.
The exception to requiring the person’s prior consent to disclose their personal information is if the disclosure is reasonably necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to the life, health or safety of any individual or to public health or safety, and it is unreasonable or impracticable to get their consent first (e.g. asking their consent is likely to increase the threat to health or safety). More information is available at Policies.