WASHINGTON (Army News Service, June 5, 2008) - QUOTE When filling out security-clearance questionnaires, Soldiers have been told to just answer "no" to receiving mental-health consultation if it was counseling strictly to deal with stress from combat or related to marital, family or grief issues.A message sent to Army activities worldwide Thursday night directs personnel to answer no under certain circumstances to question 21 on Standard Form 86, the Questionnaire for National Security Positions. The question asks: "In the last seven years, have you consulted with a mental-health professional or consulted with another health-care provider about a mental health condition?"If the treatment was not court-ordered and was not the result of violence, then Soldiers or Army Civilian employees should simply answer no to receiving care to help them adjust after returning from service in a combat zone, according to the message to "all Army activities." UNQUOTE
This points out the continuing stigma attached to receiving needed mental health services for grief, combat, family, career and marital or family issues. The inability to distinguish a veteran with early PTSD from a veteran with untreated, longterm PTSD, or a career person with stress related issues from somebody about to go postal, or a man sick with grief from a man hallucinating little pink toasters, ad infinatum, is a major flaw in our culture. The stigma prevents people from getting help at a stage when it might very likely do them some good.
That attitude is itself deeply flawed, to the point of being a form of denial.