Army Expands Mental Health Support by Implementing the Brandon Act

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October 7, 2023 | Originally published by The U.S. Army on September 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — As part of the Army’s ongoing efforts to eliminate the stigma associated with seeking mental health support, the Army has approved a policy empowering Soldiers to request a mental health evaluation through a commander or supervisor in accordance with the Brandon Act. The Army’s new Brandon Act policy will allow Soldiers to confidentially seek help through their leaders in the rank of staff sergeant or above, and it will charge leaders to quickly and confidentially connect Soldiers with resources.

Named after Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Caserta, who died by suicide in 2018, the Brandon Act aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health care and provide an additional avenue for support. The act allows Soldiers to initiate a self-referred, command-facilitated mental health evaluation for any reason, at any time, and in any environment.

“I call on leaders to continue making it clear that taking care of your mental health and your family is encouraged,” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said. “We must constantly look for additional ways to connect our Soldiers with the necessary resources for their well-being, and the Army’s new policy to implement the Brandon Act gives Soldiers another tool to seek help while honoring the legacy of Petty Officer Caserta.”

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