Mental Health Awareness Month

The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE) is highlighting May 2022 as Mental Health Awareness Month and developed some statistical and informational products to help security clearance holders understand they do not need to fear losing their security clearance if they seek assistance with a mental health issue. This is a common fear among cleared personnel. In all actuality, seeking help is the best way to keep your clearance because you are taking steps to resolve and mitigate any potential issues.

The CDSE compiled some statistics from various studies, one from the Center for Disease Control, that noted over 11 percent of adults age 18 and older reported anxiety or excessive worrying, and another 4.5 percent experienced some level of depression. Here is another astonishing statistic compiled by the DoD Central Adjudication Facility (CAF):

–          From 2012-2020 the DoD CAF made 5,391,717 adjudicative decisions

–          Of those adjudicative decisions, 96,850 involved psychological issues under Guideline I

–          Of those, 62 individuals had their clearances revoked or denied and none were solely based on Guideline I, but had other issues associated with it

The CDSE emphasizes the fact that seeking help is a positive course of action. There are many virtual resources and Employee Assistance Programs out there. I even found one on Netflix called “Unwind Your Mind”, an interactive show that lets you choose whatever mood you are striving for. Just remember, under SEAD-3 there are reportable actions by others and mental health concerns apply if there is an apparent or suspected mental health issue where there is reason to believe it would impact the individual’s ability to protect classified information.