Shows & Panels
Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- American Readiness: Renewable Power and Efficiency Technologies
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Delivering the Digital Government Mission
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal News Radio's National Cyber Security Awareness Month Special Panel Discussion
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Host Tom Temin brings you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews below.
Can seeing a psychologist put your security clearance at risk?
Tuesday - 12/28/2010, 10:14am EST
By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio
Can getting counseling for the holidays blues affect your security clearance?
"The answer is, It all depends," said John Mahoney, a partner at the Tully Rinckey law firm with experience in the world security clearance, in an interview with the Federal Drive.
If someone has a diagnosable condition, it "could put the security clearance at risk," he said.
"There's a security concern that the government recognizes if people have certain emotional, mental or personal conditions that can impair their judgment, their reliability or their trustworthiness," Mahoney said.
However, Mahoney said for "run-of-the-mill" emotional distress, depression or conditions that don't raise issues about a person's reliability, federal employees and contractors should seek voluntary mental health counseling or treatment. In fact, the guidelines encourage such people to seek help so it's more likely they can maintain their security clearance, he said.
Currently the government knows about a person's mental health through voluntary information provided through Standard Form 85 or 86, Mahoney said. Applicants are asked if they are currently seeking psychiatric care and if they have ever been diagnosed with a psychological condition, Mahoney said.
A federal employee or contractor who loses their clearance has the right to appeal any decision made by the Central Adjudication Facility, which makes "specialized determinations" about granting security clearances, he said.
Generally, employees should "feel free" to seek mental health counseling and treatment and not worry that it will impact their ability to hold a clearance or to stay employed at their job, Mahoney said.
"The threat is that some federal agencies or some federal managers will hold this over the employees' head," Mahoney said. "The message I want to get out is, that's not necessarily true."