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Seeking mental treatment 'sign of maturity' for those fearing loss of security clearances

By Lance Cpl. Gregory Aalto | | March 25, 2010

The Marine Corps recently reiterated that seeking mental health treatment will not be grounds for denial or revoking an individual’s security clearance.

According to Marine Administrative Message 153/10, released March 15, 2010, the Department of Defense is still receiving reports of service members and civilian contractors who need professional mental and physical help, but are avoiding it due to fears of being denied pending security clearances or losing their current clearances.

“If an individual is a danger to themselves or someone else, that is one thing, but no one will be hurt professionally just for coming in for an appointment,” said Carlus Houston, station mental health specialist.

The message refers to seeking help as “a sign of maturity and a positive course of action that can help behaviors.”

Holding a security clearance requires a level of individual responsibility, and the message reminded security clearance holders that they are responsible for reporting any change in their mental or emotional health.

An individual must let their unit’s intelligence section know of the pending mental health issues so they can determine if they need to suspend security access until the mental health issue is resolved.

“Not disclosing (mental health treatment) is far more of a concern than disclosure of voluntarily or involuntarily seeking treatment,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Russell Ramos, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 special security officer.

For more information visit www.usmc-mccs.org/leadersguide/emotional/mhproblems/generalinfo.cfm.

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