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Guidance to reduce the stigma of mental health assistance in support of Army personnel seeking mental health counseling.

The Department of Defense successfully advocated a revision to Question 21 of the SF-86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions, which asks about mental health counseling and treatment.  The revision now excludes counseling related to marital, Family or grief issues and counseling for adjustments from service in a military combat environment. 

We need to strongly encourage all of our leaders and Soldiers to seek professional help to address all health-related concerns, whether mental or physical.  It should be considered a mark of strength and maturity to seek appropriate healthcare, whenever required.  This is especially important for our Soldiers who are routinely exposed to traumatic events that may cause psychological stress.

As Army leaders, we must make every effort to educate our subordinates and strongly encourage them to seek mental healthcare when necessary, knowing that quickly receiving professional assistance is the best way to get better.   

Commanders will:  1) immediately, inform their Soldiers about the revision to Question 21; and 2) continue to actively encourage Soldiers within their commands to seek professional care for any mental health issue that could affect their mental or physical well-being.  

Helping to maintain physical and mental well-being of Soldiers and Army civilians will ensure we remain Army Strong.

GEN Casey

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