PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Department of Defense and all military branches have fully implemented the “Brandon Act.”

The legislation is named for Brandon Caserta, who died by suicide five years ago at Naval Station Norfolk after reported chronic bullying, hazing and retaliation.

The Brandon Act streamlines the path for service members who need mental health resources, and also better protects their privacy when they use those resources.

President Biden signed the act in 2021 and it took about two years for the whole military to implement it.

Brandon’s parents, Patrick and Teri, pushed hard for this moment.

“The person got the help that the Brandon Act guaranteed them, and it was smooth and we’re very impressed, very very impressed,” said Patrick Caserta.

The implementation comes during September, which is National Suicide Prevention Month.

“As we go into September, we must remember and honor everyone we have lost to suicide,” Teri Caserta said. “We must respect that we have been in a dark place at some point.  Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.  Speak up!  Don’t suffer in silence!  It’s time to #DoBrandonProudLiveOutLoud!”

For information on programs, events, presentations and support groups the National Alliance on Mental Illness offers, click here.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-TALK.