Thursday, April 14, 2022

Importance of Tending to Mental Health OSD001589-22 RES FINAL - DEPSECDEF Message to the Force

 

ALCON,

 

Please carefully read the attached memorandum from the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Kathleen Hicks. The memorandum emphasizes that “seeking professional care for mental health concerns will not jeopardize your security clearance.”  Individuals no longer have to report merely seeking treatment.

 

Only limited, very specific circumstances require reporting:

  • A court or administrative agency issued order declaring the individual to be mentally incompetent.
  • A court or administrative agency ordering the individual to consult with a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, etc.). An order by a military court would fall within the scope of this reporting requirement, but an order for a military member from a superior officer would not.
  • Hospitalization of the individual for a mental health condition.
  • Diagnosis of the individual by a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, etc.) of psychotic disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, bipolar mood disorder, borderline personality disorder, or antisocial personality disorder. Note: There is no diagnosis that is automatically disqualifying.
  • Occasions within the last seven years where the individual did not consult with a medical professional before altering, discontinuing, or failing to start a prescribed course of treatment for any of the above diagnoses. Details of any current treatment must be reported.
  • Any mental health or other health condition that substantially and adversely affects the individual's judgment, reliability, or trustworthiness regardless of current symptoms.
  • Information reportable by others. Behavior and/or conduct that may constitute a disqualifying condition under any of the national security guidelines. Reports of concerning behavior or conduct must be based on credible information, not solely on rumor, innuendo, or unsubstantiated hearsay (i.e., statement of persons relating what someone else may have heard or observed that have not been independently corroborated by other facts).

 

Security managers are not authorized to ask questions outside of this list. “Any questioning by your security manager(s) or negative impact on your eligibility/access as a result of mental health treatment outside of those specific reporting requirements should be reported to the DoD IG Hotline.”

 

Reminder: Reporting does not automatically require suspension of access or denial or revocation of a security clearance. The Commander must assess risk when making an access determination. When adjudicators learn of psychological conditions, they may ask for additional information. The information is used as part of a “whole person” review.

 

PLEASE AFFORD THE WIDEST DISSEMINATION. This memorandum should be sent to Commanders and all personnel throughout your command. Personnel may learn more about mental health and security clearances by viewing the Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility pre-recorded webinar and attachments at:

https://www.cdse.edu/Training/Webinars-and-Conferences/Webinar-Archive/Mental-Health-and-Your-Security-Clearance-Eligibility/

 

In the near future Army G-2 will host another virtual forum. The forum will be for Commanders, security professionals, all Army personnel and family members.

 

Thank you,

V/r

 

Ms. Erin Quirke, SFPC

Army National Guard G-2

Intelligence Security Programs (OIS-P)

Personnel Security Program Lead

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