On his first day back in Richmond, Virginia State Senator Creig Deeds introduced two bills that might have made a difference for Gus (“Deeds returns to Richmond determined to reform mental health system,” Washington Post, Jan. 7).
Virginia SB 260 would extend the length of time an individual in crisis can be held for emergency evaluation from the current maximum of six hours to 24 hours. Passage of this bill would still leave Virginia with one of the shortest emergency evaluation periods in the nation (48-72 hours is much more common), but it would be an improvement over the ridiculously brief 4-6 hours the state currently allows.
SB 263 would establish a real-time registry of available psychiatric beds. When Gus Deeds was released from a hold for psychiatric evaluation the day before he stabbed his father and killed himself, mental health officials said no psychiatric bed could be found before the six-hour hold expired.Read the entire story here: http://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/about-us/our-blog/127-va/2462-mental-heath-reform-begins-at-home-again