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    May 31, 2019

    Mental Health, Self-Reporting, and Your Security Clearance

    For week 5 of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re focused on breaking the stigma of Mental Health as it relates to Self-Reporting and your Security Clearance.

    You can also catch up on our previous Mental Health Awareness Month posts here:

    Many people don’t ask for help because they are afraid that if they seek help, they will need to report it to Security, and therefore, risk losing their clearance and job. This could not be further from the truth!

    mental-health-awareness-month-STATSSeeking help for routine life crises does not reflect adversely on an individual's judgment, nor does it jeopardize an individual’s security clearance.

    Because of your job, you have been granted access to classified information vital to national security. You are charged with safeguarding that information. It is both an honor and a privilege that allows you to make a very special contribution to your country. However, it also carries certain obligations you must meet to maintain your access.

    One of your obligations is to report to your security office those behaviors, incidents, or events that might in some way impact national security and your ability (or that of your co-workers) to function positively and effectively in a national security environment. Self-reporting also provides you an opportunity to extricate yourself from a compromising situation. Security tends to favorably look at those individuals who self-report that they are seeking help for a mental stressor/illness. 

    What do I need to report with regards to my Mental Health?

    • Any consultation with a mental health professional (marital, family, or grief counseling that was not related to violence by you or counseling strictly related to adjustments from service in a military combat environment do not need to be reported)
    • Prescribed drugs as a result of psychological counseling
    • Illegal/improper use of narcotics, non-medicinal drugs, non-prescription drugs, or controlled substances
    • Misuse of prescription drugs or controlled substances such as using the drug/substance for any other reason other than prescribed
    • Use of prescription drugs prescribed for someone else (friend, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, child, parent, etc.)


    Mental health treatment and counseling, in and of itself, is not a reason to revoke or deny eligibility for:

    • access to classified information
    • holding a sensitive position
    • suitability or fitness to obtain or retain federal or contract employment
    • eligibility for physical or logical access to federally controlled facilities or information systems

    In reality, security professionals are most concerned with specific behaviors that demonstrate a security risk, not mental disorders.

    All information about incident(s) or event(s) should be reported as soon as possible.

    If you are in doubt as to whether a behavior, incident, or event should be called to the attention of your security office, REPORT IT!  Your security office is in the best position to decide of the risks and to help mitigate or resolve them.

    Questions, comments or feedback:

    Please contact us with any questions or feedback on this initiative.

    Juliana Lee, CSM®

    Juliana brings over 15 years of marketing, communications, and design experience to Markon. She leads marketing and communications in addition to supporting a variety of corporate initiatives. She holds a MA in Communication from the University of Maryland.

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