May 24, 2021 —
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a chance to remind our Coast Guard workforce that you are not alone and if ever you feel heightened emotions in any way—support resources are available. Thus, throughout this month, the Coast Guard is focusing on the theme, “You Are Not Alone,” by reinforcing the value of connection, and the prioritization of our mental health needs.
“It is important to acknowledge Mental Health Awareness Month to combat the real and perceived stigma regarding mental health and the shame that keeps individuals from wanting to access support and care,” said the Employee Assistance Program Manager, Christiana Montminy. “To address difficult feelings, individuals can find support in therapy, which is evidence-based, affirms individuals’ dignity and encourages honest communication and feedback.”
Year-round, commands encourage members to seek support and to promote their resilience, while actively and effectively reducing the perceived stigma of seeking mental health assistance. Coast Guard leaders, military members and civilian employees are encouraged to proactively support a colleague who may be in need of assistance. In fact, to help with alleviating concerns that prevent people from seeking care, Mental Health Awareness Month 2021: Together We Are Resilient ALCOAST 196/21 details important updates the Office Personnel Management made to the Standard Form 86, the questionnaire used to process security clearances. Changes include:
- The Questionnaire for National Security Positions reinforces that "participating in mental health treatment and counseling, in and of itself, is not a reason to revoke or deny eligibility for access to classified information or for holding a sensitive position, suitability or fitness to obtain or retain federal or contract employment, or eligibility for physical or logical access to federally controlled facilities or information systems.
- Seeking or receiving mental health care for personal wellness and recovery may contribute favorably to decisions about your eligibility.
- More information can be found at the CGSUPRT website.
Montminy summarizes the intent for this month’s observance stating, “Support systems are real. Remember to allow ourselves the opportunity to celebrate heath and to assist connecting those in need with help.”
Here are some key resources, for a comprehensive list, refer to Mental Health Awareness Month 2021: Together We Are Resilient ALCOAST 196/21 for a full listing:
For more information, questions or concerns, please contact Employee Assistance Program Manager Christiana Montminy or OpMed RBHP Technical Authority Cmdr. Marian Collins.