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McDonnell Proposes Increase In Virginia's Mental Health Funding

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing increased mental health funding and the creation of a task force to look at ways to head off mental health crises.

The governor's initiatives follow the November death of the son of Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds less than one day after he had been released from emergency custody.

McDonnell is proposing more than $38 million in state funding over the next two-year budget cycle for critical mental health services. The task force would include mental health and law enforcement officials among its members.

Virginia mental health officials have already announced changes in response to the death of Sen. Creigh Deeds' son Gus.

Citing the Virginia Tech massacre, McDonnell said Virginians have experienced "tremendous heartache" as a result of mental health tragedies.

Responding to the proposal, Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe commends McDonnell for taking what he calls "important steps" toward reforming the commonwealth's mental health system.

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