Va. lawmaker introduces mental health bills

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Montgomery County lawmaker has proposed changes to Virginia's laws on holding people involuntarily for evaluation and treatment in psychiatric emergencies.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/19BrNir ) that Republican Del. Joseph Yost has introduced bills to lengthen the deadlines of orders to hold people in emergency custody or temporary detention, as well as allowing a temporary detention order to be issued before a bed is secured in a psychiatric facility.

All three proposals aim to fill a gap in Virginia's mental health system that became apparent in November when state Sen. Creigh Deeds of Bath County was attacked by his son Gus, who then klilled himself. Gus Deeds had been released from emergency custody just 13 hours earlier.

The General Assembly convenes next Wednesday.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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