April 28, 2014
Governor Terry McAuliffe will be in Charlottesville Monday afternoon to sign a new mental health reform bill.
Senator Creigh Deeds has been trying to make changes to Virginia's mental health system since his son, Austin “Gus”, attacked him late last year.
Austin Deeds had been placed under an emergency custody order (ECO) back in November. Doctors were unable to find him a bed in a psychiatric unit within the six-hour time limit, and so he was released.
The next morning, Austin stabbed his father before taking his own life.
The bill to be signed today will extend the amount of time a person can be held in an ECO to up to 12 hours.
The bill also requires the creation of a psychiatric bed registry to allow emergency workers to search for hospital beds in "real time" to speed the process.
Governor McAuliffe will sign the bill with Senator Deeds at the University of Virginia Medical Center.