McAuliffe Signs Va. Mental Health Reform Bill

Monday, Apr 28, 2014  |  Updated 8:53 PM EDT
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McAuliffe Signs Va. Mental Health Reform Bill

Virginia officials are celebrating the signing of a mental health reform bill.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe ceremonially signed the bill Monday at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

WVIR-TV reports that McAuliffe was joined by state Sen. Creigh Deeds, whose son brutally stabbed his father multiple times before fatally shooting himself last November.

Deed's son had previously sought professional health at a Virginia psych ward, but was turned away when a bed was not made available within six hours.

The incident sparked debate about the amount of the time psych wards have to find a bed for patients seeking treatment.

The law extends the length of time allotted for finding a psychiatric bed for those under an emergency custody order from six hours 12 hours. And after eight hours of searching, if no private beds can be found, a state hospital will now be required to admit those under an emergency custody order.

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