Can you lose your military security clearance if you seek mental-health services? In short, the answer is no. Seeking mental-health services should not affect your ability to gain or hold security-clearance eligibility.
It’s a common belief in the military community that if you seek help for mental-health symptoms, it can affect your ability to gain or hold clearance eligibility. This belief is unfounded. In fact, the opposite is true: Not seeking care when you need it can raise security concerns and negatively impact decisions about your eligibility. Seeking help is recognized as a positive step during the personnel vetting process. It demonstrates transparency, integrity, and trustworthiness, which can have a favorable effect on eligibility decisions. There are no mental-health conditions that automatically disqualify you. The disqualifying factors for security clearance include:
- Not seeking mental health treatment when needed
- Non-compliance with recommended mental-health treatment
- Behaviors which might result in a threat to oneself or others
- Co-occurring mental-health and substance-abuse issues
- Recurring or chronic mental-health concerns that have not responded sufficiently to treatment
All domains in the Total Force Fitness framework are interrelated. If you neglect your mental health, it can negatively impact the other domains and compromise your peak performance, readiness, and military fitness.
The concept of Total Force Fitness maintains that performance is optimized when resources—individual, family, and external—match or exceed demands. Asking for help can be overwhelming. These resources can help you to navigate the mental-health support process, so that you or someone you care about can maintain optimal levels of readiness, wellness, and resilience.
HPRC’s website offers resources if you or someone you care about needs to reach out for mental-health services:
- Learn from HPRC how to overcome common barriers you or loved ones might face in getting help and the recommended strategies to help move past them.
- HPRC can help prepare you or a loved one on how you can get the most out of a therapy appointment, including resources to help you schedule one.
- Even if you don’t consider yourself religious, this HPRC article reviews how chaplains can be a resource for your mental health.
- HPRC offers other resources on mental-health care, stress management, and parent-child mental health which can enable you to find the help you or others need.
To learn more, visit the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency Mental Health and Security Clearance fact sheet.