WASHINGTON – Officials say the Pentagon is ready to announce a new policy that could encourage more troops to get treatment for post-combat mental health problems.
The Associated Press has learned that under the change, troops won't have to reveal all their mental health counseling when applying for security clearances.
Officials say Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to announce the new policy Thursday in an effort to ease the stigma that troops feel about getting counseling. Many don't get psychiatric care because they fear it could harm their careers and embarrass them before commanders and comrades.
Right now, forms to get a national security clearance ask if the applicant has had therapy in the past seven years. The change essentially means troops would not have to volunteer information about therapy they got for difficulties caused by their wartime tours of duty.