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Va. governor signs mental health bill

Monday - 4/7/2014, 3:06pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A key part of Sen. Creigh Deeds' efforts to fix Virginia's mental health system is now law.

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

Deeds' son 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.

McAuliffe called the legislation good first steps in improving Virginia's mental health care.


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