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 April 24, 2015

“Edwards Got Talent” contest April 24 Edwards Family Advocacy will hold an “Edwards Got Talent” competition at the Oasis Community Center April 24. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. and will end at 7:30 p.m. Anyone with access to Edwards AFB and their family members are invited to come and show off their talent! The...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

Second X-56A MUTT makes first flight

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich NASA researchers are using the X-56A, a low-cost, modular, remotely piloted aerial vehicle, to explore the behavior of lightweight, flexible aircraft structures. Researchers at NASA’s Armstrong ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

An Edwards NCO’s journey to wounded warrior mentorship

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. Tech. Sgt. Ryan Delaney, an Air Force Wounded Warrior mentor, watches Tremayne Maxwell, an Air Force Wounded Warrior athlete, perfect his wheelchair basketball rolling skills during the f...
 

 
school-registration

Kindergarten registration May 12

Registration for kindergarten will be held May 12-13 for the 2015-2016 school year. Registration will take place in the Branch Elementary School Multi-purpose Room noon-3 p.m. both days.  Children must be five years old on o...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

STEM Expo The Antelope Valley Union High School District needs volunteers to serve as judges for the first Annual STEM Expo 5:30 p.m., April 27 at Eastside High School. Students will be evaluated in seven categories: Environmental/Agricultural Innovation, Invention, Reverse Engineering, Robotics and Computer Science, Rube Goldberg, Science Fiction, and Science Inquiry. Eastside High School...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Command chief shares secrets to success for enlisted

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Chief Master Sgt. David Smith, 412th Test Wing command chief hosted a mandatory enlisted all-call at the base theater April 13. Chief Master Sgt. David Smith, 412th Test Wing command chief ...
 




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>