Gov. McAuliffe Signs Mental Health Bill

April, 7, 2014

A key part of Senator Creigh Deeds' efforts to fix Virginia's mental health system is now law.

Governor Terry McAuliffe signed legislation Monday that extends the length of time allotted for finding a psychiatric bed for those under an emergency custody order (ECO) from six hours 12 hours.
After eight hours of searching, if no private beds can be found, a state hospital will now be required to admit those patients.

Sen. Deeds' son, Austin "Gus", attacked his father then committed suicide at their Bath County homestead last November.

The incident occurred after the local community services board said it was unable to locate an available psychiatric bed for Gus Deeds within six hours.

The governor called the legislation good first steps in improving the Commonwealth's mental health care.

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