Question 21 on the Questionnaire for National Security Positions (SF86) requires applicants to disclose any mental health counseling related to a sexual assault. This rule prevents service members who are applying for or renewing their clearance from actively seeking mental health counseling.
Service members and veterans seeking positions that require a security clearance have indicated that Question 21 not only prevents them from seeking counseling, but also adversely affects their military careers and future job prospects. An exemption to this question currently exists for applicants receiving mental health services for combat-related trauma, grief, and marital counseling.
SWAN believes an exemption should exist for sexual trauma survivors and has been working tirelessly on this issue with legislators and multiple federal agencies demanding a change to this form.
To learn more about where SWAN’s work with Question 21 stands today, click here.