Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

January 29, 2014

Va. mental health task force issues 2 proposals

RICHMOND, Va. — A task force created after a state senator’s mentally ill son attacked him with a knife is proposing a wider window to ensure that people who are a threat to themselves or others can get the emergency psychiatric care they need.

The Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response also voted Tuesday to back a 72-hour limit on temporary detention orders, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The orders to hold someone in a psychiatric crisis are now capped at 48 hours.

The 37-member task force was created by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell after Sen. R. Creigh Deeds was stabbed by his son, Austin “Gus” Deeds, on Aug. 19 at the family’s remote homestead in Bath County. The younger Deeds killed himself after he attacked his father, who survived.

Gus Deeds, who was 24, had been released from an emergency custody order hours earlier after a local community services board said it was unable to locate an available psychiatric bed in the area within the six hours allotted by law.  

The task force recommended doubling that time, to 12 hours, as well as the additional 24 hours to hold someone involuntarily.

The panel called for more secure assessment centers across Virginia. They would preferably be attached to hospitals that provide a therapeutic setting for mental health evaluations and security, which would ease the burden on local law officers of waiting hours for the outcome.

The recommendations are the first to emerge from the task force.

Besides the creation of the task force, McDonnell also proposed more than $38 million in state funding over the next two-year budget cycle for critical mental health services. The General Assembly is also expected to consider a number of bills intended to address the gaps in the state’s mental health services that were exposed by what happened to Deeds and his family.

 

1
Text Only
Virginia State News
West Virginia State News
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Sister Newspapers' News