Mental Health

General Assembly
8:43 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Mental Health Custody Issue Moves Forward

Sen. Creigh Deeds

A person in a mental health crisis may be kept in custody for evaluation for up to 24 hours under legislation that has cleared the Virginia Senate. 

The new, 24-hour limit passed over the objections of some in the law enforcement community, who worried that such a lengthy period may divert deputy sheriffs who are detaining the patient from other public safety priorities.

But the bill passed unanimously after an impassioned plea from the Senator who was most recently impacted by flaws in the state’s mental health system.

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Legislative Update
9:41 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Mental Health

Virginia is moving closer to implementing changes to its mental health system under legislation that has advanced in the General Assembly. 

The state Senate approved two bills to help clarify how long a person can be held for treatment under a temporary detention order … and to prevent someone who’s thought to be a danger to himself or others from possessing a gun. 

Critics of current law argue that it doesn’t authorize enough time to diagnose and begin treating temporarily detained patients in crisis. 

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Health & Medicine
8:06 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Deeds Shares His Story on "60 Minutes"

Credit CBS News

State Senator Creigh Deeds speaks on television for the first time since his son's suicide, and he’s taking his mental health care message to a national audience.

In an interview with Scott Pelley for “60 Minutes” Creigh Deeds discusses what he feels is a “critical failure in mental health care”.

That “failure” he talks about ended in the death of his 24-year-old son Gus, who attacked him with a knife, shortly before taking his own life last November.

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Emergency Custody Orders & Available Facilities
4:35 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Mental Health Legislation Moves Forward

At least one of the mental health bills sponsored by State Senator Creigh Deeds is moving forward to the next stage without any opposition.

After being released from emergency custody after psychiatric beds were not found, Deeds’ son stabbed him and subsequently killed himself.

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New Inspector General Report
3:10 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Mental Health Care in Virginia's Jails

More than 6,000 people in Virginia’s local and regional jails are mentally ill according to a new report from Virginia’s Inspector General, but they’re not getting adequate care. 

Sheriffs, who oversee those jails, are begging the legislature for help.
 

There are about 70 jails in Virginia housing 6,346 people with mental illness, and John Jones, director of the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, says that can lead to dangerous situations.

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