Standard Form 86 (SF86), “Questionnaire for National Security Positions,” [PDF 6.98MB] is the form that is used to apply for Confidential, Secret and Top Secret national security clearances. The U.S. government uses the information from SF86 to conduct background checks and evaluations of those individuals under consideration for a national security position and for those requiring access to classified information.
As you complete the form, you will need to answer Question 21, which addresses psychological and emotional health history. If you have received psychological health counseling in the past, or are coping with a psychological health concern and can benefit from treatment or support, reaching out for care alone will notautomatically impact your ability to obtain or maintain a security clearance. There are many service members and veterans who have reached out for psychological support or care with successful outcomes, including maintaining their security clearance and continuing to succeed in their military or civilian careers.
This article explains what to consider when answering Question 21.