Helping a loved one who is experiencing a severe mental illness, especially someone who may not realize they are sick, is one of the greatest gifts you can give. For some, it may mean the difference between life and tragedy. ~ Treatment Advocacy Center
(March 27, 2014) Sen. Creigh Deeds, a Virginia Democrat advocating for better access to mental health care, will speak at the National Press Club Monday March 31. Deeds became an advocate after his son was denied a bed when in a psychiatric crisis and subsequently wounded his father before committing suicide.
“The system failed my son,” Deeds has said. “For too long we've been shoving ... problems with respect to the mentally ill under the table . . . We need to take a good long look at fundamental changes in our system of care."
Following the tragedy, Deeds introduced several bills that might have helped his son, including one that would create a real-time psych bed registry and another that would increase the duration of emergency psychiatric holds from four hours – currently the shortest in the nation – to 24.
The speech on March 31 will be the first time Deeds addresses the topic in Washington.
Sen. Deeds is a former county prosecutor who authored a law allowing public access to the Virginia sex offender registry. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 1991 and left the House in 2001 to join the state Senate. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2009.
Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., with remarks beginning at 1 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session ending at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $36 for non-Press Club members (click here to purchase tickets). For questions about the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 662 – 7501.
To submit a question for the speaker in advance, put DEEDS the subject line and email email@example.com before 10 a.m. on the day of the luncheon.