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Does disclosing suicidal thoughts or self-harm to University staff mean a student will be placed on a Leave?  

No. The University’s hope is that students will actively engage with mental health supports with the trust and understanding that this will not lead to them being recommended for a Leave. Generally, a student may disclose personal mental health concerns or struggles to a counsellor or medical professional without concern that their personal health information will be shared for consideration under the Policy.   

Staff in the various health and counselling services are governed by their professional standards as well as the Province of Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”). PHIPA requires healthcare providers to maintain the confidentiality of all personal health information. Such information may not be disclosed without consent except in very exceptional circumstances.   

In relation to the Policy, before a Leave is imposed the University must have sufficient information to believe that the student poses a significant risk of either physical or psychological harm to University of Toronto community member(s), or harm that involves substantial impairment of the educational experience of fellow students, and this risk cannot be mitigated or controlled by supportive intervention at the time. In other words, disclosures of mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation or self-harm would not be sufficient to meet the threshold to place a student on a Leave.