The Brandon Act would allow service members to anonymously seek mental health treatment. The act would also make a more direct path to mental health resources and remove the chain of command to access services. It would hold the chain of command accountable for suicides if officers did not take appropriate action to prevent them.
The legislation is named after U.S Navy Petty Officer Brandon Caserta, a 21-year-old who died by suicide on Naval Station Norfolk.
Brandon Caserta was one of 325 active duty service members who died by suicide in 2018, and one of 68 sailors, according to military data. Less than half, or 44.6%, of troops who died by suicide that year had a documented behavioral health diagnosis, according to a report the Pentagon released in April. Recent reports state that military suicides are on the rise.
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