(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Patty Murray today applauded a Pentagon announcement aimed at reducing the stigma associated with receiving mental health services.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled a new policy which no longer requires service members to reveal their combat-related mental health care when applying for a security clearance.

Murray, who has worked with the Pentagon to help improve care for wounded warriors and veterans, released the following statement:

"Today's announcement is a critical step forward in encouraging our troops and returning service members to get the help they need and deserve.  

"The only consequence to members of our military for seeking mental health services should be getting the help they need.  

"I applaud the Pentagon's move to help reduce this stigma and look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure the best possible care for our troops and veterans."