Who can see my mental health records?

Your health-care information, including information about mental health, belongs to you. In most situations, your , for example, your doctor, psychotherapist, or counsellor, cannot share your health information with anyone who isn’t treating you for a health issue.

If your health-care provider wants to share your with someone else, they must usually get your permission. For example, if they’re sending your information to an insurance company.

Even when you want to share your health records, for example, with someone helping you with an insurance claim, you still have to give your health-care provider permission to share your records with that person.

There are different ways you can give permission to share your health records. Step 1 explains what they are.

Sharing without your permission

There are some situations when others can share your mental health records without your permission. This can happen when, for example

  • your health-care provider needs to share information with another health-care provider who’s involved in your care
  • you’re badly injured and your health-care provider needs to speak to your loved ones about treating you
  • there’s a risk that you or someone else could get seriously hurt
  • you’re at a or a jail against your will
  • if your doctor is checking to see if you’re mentally capable for the Consent and Capacity Board or the Public Guardian and Trustee
  • if you have a who’s allowed to make healthcare decisions for you

Steps 2, 3, and 4 explain these situations in more detail.


If you think someone shared your mental health information when they had no right to, you can complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Step 5 explains how you can do this.

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