Providing Learning Support for Students with Mental Health Difficulties Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities

Confidentiality

What about the other students?

The Open University's guidelines deal with the difficult question of how to enlist the support of the student group without breaching confidentiality:

"This is possible by focussing on the student's needs rather than on the student's illness.
A student may be quite open about his or her needs, in which case the problem of confidentiality does not arise. For example, one student asked that students at the summer school should be told that he preferred to eat alone. They therefore felt comfortable leaving him by himself at meal times. He was then able to cope with the demands of group work, having had time to himself.
If the student has not been open with others and is obviously uncomfortable within the group, you could try talking with the student about the matter in order to establish what he or she needs from the group. This can then be opened up and discussed with other students."

Open University (1994), p.8.

See also the section on Supporting the Student Group.

Page updated 14 December 2001

GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock