Our Policies

Office & Fee Policy

Professional Fees:

These professional fees are for general individual counselling and all related professional services. Fees for specialized services may be higher and this fee will be stated at the outset of our service together. Fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change. Professional fees are set in accordance with the recommended fee range for social workers in private practice established by the Ontario Association of Social Workers. The clinical service provided by a social worker is HST exempt. 

Payment options:

Payment for services is expected at the end of your counselling session. Payment can be made by e-transfer, debit/credit card (Visa, Master Card, Discovery). An official receipt will be provided to you at this time. There is a $25 charge for NSF cheques. Invoicing is available for third-party payers. 

Confidentiality:

All services provided to you are strictly confidential, Information about your or your situation will not be released without your informed, written consent except in the following circumstance:

  • If a therapist is required by law to do so. 
  • If a therapist assess that there is a risk of harm to yourself or others
  • If a therapist assess that a child may have been harmed in the past, or that a child is at risk of harm in the present or future, In all cases. A therapist has a legal duty to report this. 
  • If a therapist is bound by law to report a colleague to the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Social Services Workers for professional misconduct. 
  • If a therapist is required to defend themselves against a complaint filed with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. 

Privacy of personal information:   Please refer to the office privacy policy

Telephone calls:  

Richmond Counselling Services will attempt to return calls within 24 hours during business days. Occasionally, we may not be able to return calls within 24 hours. Please ensure we have your current contact numbers. Please inform us if there is any reason why we should not leave a message when we call you back. 

Texting:

Texting is not a secure method of communication. Richmond Counselling Services does not text nor do they respond to text messages from anyone in treatment with them. 

Emails:

Richmond Counselling Services uses email communication only with your permission and only for administrative purposes. That means that email exchanges should be limited to things like setting and changing appointments, billing matters and other related issues. Please do not not email Richmond Counselling Services about clinical matters because email is not a secure communication tool. If you need to discuss a clinical matter then please feel free to email me to set-up an earlier appointment. I will attempt to respond within 24 hours except on weekends or holidays. Please note that Richmond Counselling Services does not provide emergency or crisis support. If you are in crisis and need immediate support, please contact your local mental health crisis line, call 911, or go to your nearest hospital emergency department or urgent care centre. 

Office hours:

Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Although Richmond Counselling Services attempts to  respond to the needs of our current clients, our services do not provide 24-hour coverage and we cannot always be available for emergency contact. For emergencies, please contact your local mental health crisis line, call 911, or go to your nearest hospital emergency department or urgent care centre. 

Crisis and emergency resources:  

Please note that Richmond Counselling Services does not provide emergency or crisis support. If you are in crisis and need immediate support, please contact your local mental health crisis line, call 911, or go to your nearest hospital emergency department or urgent care centre. 

The material on this website is written for general information purposes only and in good faith. Richamond Counselling Services makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this material. Every action you take on the information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Richmond Counselling Services will not be liable for any loss and/or damage arising from the use of this website.

Privacy Policy

Richmond Counselling Services is pleased to be a provider of service to you.  They are committed to protecting the privacy of your personal information and have developed policies and procedures in compliance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, 2004 (PIPEDA) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). 

Richmond Counselling Services would like to take this opportunity to inform  you about the personal information they collect, and how it is used, and how they protect its confidentiality and your rights in respect of this information. 

The nature of personal information RIchmond Counselling services collect may include:

  • Information required to maintain a working file according to the standards of the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers such your name, address, phone numbers, date of birth, other contact information, names of others who are significant to your situation (family, your doctor, and other professionals) and sometimes their contact information. I also collect information about our work together and this would include notes detailed enough to reflect the scope of the work and my actions in this regard, any correspondence sent or received, any consents or other documents you have signed, copies of papers you have given me, and other documentation in particular to the nature of our involvement. 
  • Information necessary for billing purposes which may include information about your health insurance plans, information collected to comply with the policies of your Employee Assistance Program and their standards, information about other third party payers, copies of all receipts given to you including copies of electronic payments, copies of invoices and billing records. 

Richmond Counselling Services collect this information for the following reasons:

  • To maintain a clinical file or working file that meets the standards of my profession and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
  • To provide this service for you in a manner that ensures your safety
  • To maintain a high standard of professionalism in the provision of service
  • To assist in the process of billing for my services
  • To meet other legal and regulatory requirements
  • To maintain records pertaining to the operations of a business and to make these records available if requested. 

There will be times when I ask you if I may speak with others about you and your situation. There will be times when you will ask me to do this as well. On these occasions, I will always discuss this information-sharing with you and we will look at the benefits and consequences of speaking to others about your situation. I will then ask for your informed, written consent for me to share your information. 

There may be occasions when I must share information about you or your situation without your consent. These situations are very exceptional but may include the following:

  • If I have any information about abuse or risk of a child then I must report this to the proper authority
  • If I have a concern about any risk that you may do harm to yourself or harm to another person then I must take action to ensure your safety or the safety of others
  • If I am required by law to release information such as receiving a subpoena to court
  • If I must report a colleague to the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
  • If I must defend myself against a complaint filed with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers or any other court action. 

I make every attempt to safeguard your personal information. I would like you to know the following:

  • Richmond Counselling Services uses NousTalk, an online platform that utilizes  Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act, 2004 (PIPEDA) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) compliant electronic records for storing your information. Your file contains all the personal information about you and your situation with the exception of copies of billing information such as receipts and electronic payments. Your file is only stored on highly secure encrypted devices. 
  • Your file is maintained according to regulations set by the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and in accordance with other legal requirements. 
  • Any rough paper notes collected in session are cross-cut shredded and disposed of by Richmond Counselling Services after completing the electronic record
  • Security and preservation of your record is kept for 7 years after the last date of service provided. 

You have the right to request to see any personal information that Richmond Counselling Services has collected about your or your situation. You have the right to view your clinical file. Richmond Counselling Service will assist you to understand all of what has been written in your file. If you believe that some information about you is incorrect, you may request that the information be changed. Richmond Counselling Services correct this information with any third parties who may have been given the wrong information. If you wish to view your file or if you have any concerns about the privacy of your information please contact your counsellor.

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