Changing Minds

Changing Minds

State Sen. Says Va. Will Be Model for Mental Health Services

Friday, May 30, 2014  |  Updated 8:40 AM EDT
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Deeds: 'We're Going to Remake the System'

A state senator who was attacked by his son before the young man killed himself says Virginia will be a model for mental health services.

“We’re going to remake the system,” Sen. Creigh Deeds said to the group of local mental health workers and emergency service providers Thursday in Charlottesville, The Daily Progress reported.

On Nov. 19, Austin "Gus'' Deeds repeatedly stabbed his father, then killed himself with a rifle at the family's rural Bath County home.

The younger Deeds had been released 13 hours earlier from an emergency custody order after a mental health clinician failed to find a psychiatric bed so that he could undergo further evaluation.

Last month, Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation Monday that extends the length of time allotted for finding a psychiatric bed for those under an emergency custody order from six to 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.

But according to the The Daily Progress, Deeds called this year's bill "simple". Deeds added the mental health legislation is just a start.

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