Local

March 22, 2013

Edwards leadership reiterates protections provided for employees who seek mental health care

Jet Fabara
412th TW Public Affairs

In 2012, the Department of Defense released guidance for employees who had concerns regarding how their mental health history could adversely affect their security clearance. This guidance emphasized that the U.S. Government recognizes the vital importance of mental health and advocates the proactive management of mental health conditions to support wellness and recovery.

This guidance further emphasized that an individual’s decision to seek mental health care would not, in and of itself, adversely impact their ability to obtain and maintain a national security position or security clearance. With that said, base leaders at Edwards are reiterating the protections provided for personnel who seek mental healthcare.

“Seeking mental health care may actually reflect favorably on a person’s ability to hold a clearance or national security position,” said Stephen Gerteis, 412th Test Wing Information Protection Office chief. “A decision to seek help is a very positive sign that someone recognizes a problem might exist and they are willing to proactively take steps to resolve it.”

Applicants for security clearances or critical sensitive positions complete the Standard Form 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions, and in question 21 are asked for information regarding psychological and emotional health. This question does not ask for information if the counseling involved only marital, family, or grief counseling, not related to violence by the applicant, unless the treatment was court-ordered, according to Gerteis.

Additionally, question 21 also excludes mental health counseling, strictly related to adjustments from service in a military combat environment.

“If a subject answers ‘Yes’ to SF 86, question 21, only a credentialed personnel security investigator from the investigative service provider may ask the health care practitioner if the applicant under investigation has a condition that could impair their judgment, reliability, or ability to properly safeguard classified national security information,” said Gerteis. “If the practitioner answers ‘No’ to this question, then no further questions are authorized.”

As additional reassurance to all DOD employees, Gerteis added that all information pertaining to mental health treatment shall be handled on a strict need-to-know basis and any misuse of the information is punishable under applicable regulations, policies, and privacy laws.

“Security managers, commanders, or supervisors are prohibited from asking employees for any additional information regarding mental counseling listed on their SF 86,” said Gerteis. “Applicants should report any unauthorized questioning to the DOD Inspector General Hotline number at (800) 424-9098.”

For more information regarding guidance on this topic, contact your unit security manager or the Edwards personnel security office at (661) 277-5441.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

Library closure The Base Library will be closing early Feb. 28 for an official function. Hours of operation will be 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. For more information, call 661-275-2665. Blood drive The next American Red Cross Blood Drive on Edwards AFB is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., March 4 in the Chapel 1 Annex. Both...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka

C-12 pilots take to skies at Edwards

Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka Edwards AFB is home to the U.S. Air Force C-12 school house. Referred to as a split school house, when an individual is assigned to fly an Air Force C-12 Huron, they spend three weeks in Alab...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Pave Hawk team gives test at Edwards a shot

Air Force photograph by Bobbi Zapka An aerial gunner from the Combat Search and Rescue Combined Test Force fires at a canvas target positioned on the Gun Harmonizing Range during a baseline ballistics test held Feb. 11. The obj...
 

 
BHM-bowling1

Bowling for Black History Month

Joe Hendrix, 412th Maintenance Squadron, shows off his bowling skills during the “Beat the Board” 9-Pin, No-Tap Bowling Tournament, sponsored by the 412th Test Wing, Electronic Warfare Booster Club Feb. 23. The thre...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Brendon O’Dowd, 412th Test Wing chaplain, speaks to parents and teens during the Elephant in the Room event held at Desert Jr.-Sr. High School Feb. 18. Family Advocac...
 
 

News Briefs February 20, 2015

Base Exchange Food Court closure Due to power issues the Base Exchange Food Court operations will be closed through Feb. 22. Unfortunately, the nature of the damage precludes the BX from providing temporary power. As a reminder, other facilities listed below are open for business with the addition of the two food trucks out front:...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>