Officials across the private sector and the intelligence community are working to address stigma surrounding mental health concerns by busting myths and encouraging national security employees and other cleared professionals to undergo mental health treatment, Government Executive reported Friday.
“If there is a myth out there that, ‘if I go to behavioral health [services] it will be a career killer,’ … it’s to the contrary; we at adjudications very much see participating in treatment as a favorable thing,” said Michael Priester, chief psychologist at the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency.
Mark Frownfelter, assistant director for the special security directorate at the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said employees within IC deal with financial strains, family issues, work problems and other common stressors that everyone is currently facing and stressed the need to quell the myth about seeking mental health treatment.
“So it’s important that we dispel this myth about seeking support and seeking treatment, and how it could possibly negatively impact your clearance,” said Frownfelter.
General Dynamics‘ information technology business introduced a campaign called How are you, really? to provide employees with resources and support to help them deal with stress, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
“The intelligence community hasn’t been spared in these facts,” Gilliland added.