DMW: Mental Health Treatment Still a Security Clearance Issue at State Department

We have recently posted an email from HRC to State Department employees on seeking help for mental health issues here.

The day after its release, the Concerned Foreign Service Officers issued the following statement (item below from CFSO volunteer blog, Dead Men Working):

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yesterday, presumably in response to a series of articles in the September issue of the Foreign Service Journal, Secretary of State Clinton issued an internal statement urging employees needing mental health treatment to get it, stating quite clearly that no Foreign Service Officer had ever lost a security clearance due to having sought mental health treatment. Concerned Foreign Service Officers wants to set the record straight.

Executive Order 12968 provides guidelines for the granting or revocation of a clearance. There are only thirteen criteria under which a security clearance can be revoked, and “seeking mental health treatment” is not one of them. Therefore, it is obvious that no official record would provide “seeking mental health treatment” as the justification for a revocation. Instead, the clearance would have been revoked under a guideline such as “mental disorders” or “personal conduct” and the record would reflect that fact. DS revocation letters are short, and unlike those of other agencies, rarely provide details. But there have been well-documented cases where the unmentioned “cause for concern” under the official guideline was the simple act of seeking mental health treatment and the biased reaction to it by DS adjudicators.

Concerned Foreign Service Officers believes that people who need mental health treatment or counseling should get it. But as long as DS continues to adjudicate security clearances without a real whole-person review, without verification of the facts, and without any real oversight, they do, and will continue to revoke security clearances of employees who obtain mental health treatment.

Active links added above. 

Related post:

Clinton issues note on mental health; seeking help a sign of maturity and professionalism | Sept 10