New Military Anti-Stigma Effort: Soldiers Won’t Have to Disclose Past Therapy


April 30, 2008, Washington, DC – U.S. troops won’t have to reveal all their mental health counseling when applying for security clearances under a change the Pentagon hopes will ease the stigma of seeking help for combat stress, The Associated Press has learned.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to announce the new policy Thursday, according to several defense officials.

Thousands of troops are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with war-related anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. But many hesitate to get psychiatric care because they fear that could cost them their security clearances, harm their careers and embarrass them before commanders and comrades.

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