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 January 23, 2015

Fitz-Gerald pedestrian crossing work Through next week, road work will be taking place near the Fitz-Gerald Blvd. and Doolittle Parkway intersections, which is located in the housing area near Chapel 2. This work will result in better visibility of the pedestrian crossings and make crossing at these locations easier and safer for all. Fitz-Gerald and...
 
 
juveniel-court

JIC aims to maintain good order, morale, discipline

In the Sept. 9, 2014, Desert Wings, an article titled Vandalism costs school district $12,000.î The story was about damage that occurred at Bailey Elementary School. The 412th Test Wing has taken to address not only that insta...
 
 

New Exchange Extra app puts savings, more at shoppers’ fingertips

With the swipe of a finger, military shoppers can launch a brand-new way to connect with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service through its free Exchange Extra app. The app gives shoppers quick access to information on the latest Exchange promotions, contests, coupons, BE FIT information and more. The free app is available at...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Dutch F-35s touch down at Edwards

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Two F-35 Lightning IIs, F-001 and F-002, of the Royal Netherlands Air Force landed at Edwards Jan. 16, after a five-hour flight from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The Joint Strike Fighters arrive...
 
 

2015 Tax Center update

The Edwards Air Force Base 2015 Tax Center is scheduled to open Feb. 9 and remain open through April 15. Due to a severe shortage of manpower, as a result of Force Shaping, this year’s Tax Center will be limited in its size and scope. The center will only be able to accommodate active duty...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

412th SFS trains with ‘warrior mentality’

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber During a 412th Security Forces Squadron active shooter training event, Airman 1st Class Geremi Long, Airman 1st Class Jay Prather and Officer Melo-Trejos entered the facility with one goal ...
 




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>