HIPAA, Social Media, and Technology
A Guide for Mental Health Professionals

Chapter 3: An Introduction to Social Media Standards for Mental Health Professionals
Part 1: Social Media Risks for Social Workers

As a social worker, you are an entity covered by HIPAA regulations, and therefore, you're held to higher privacy standards than other professions. This means you may have to maintain a delicate balancing act when using social media.

On the one hand, social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogs can be formidable ways to build your credibility in the social work community and help clients. For instance, you may offer digital services such as online counseling, avatar and cyber therapy, video counseling, and self-guided web-based interventions.

On the other hand, when interacting online, you may run into issues involving…

  • Privacy and confidentiality.
  • Liability.
  • Informed consent.
  • Solicitation of clients.
  • Conflicts of interest.

Let's take a look at how experts in your field use the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Code of Ethics New browser window icon. to navigate these issues.

Next: On Privacy & Confidentiality

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