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Virginia Senate Passes Creigh Deeds' Mental Health Bill

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Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, right, is greeted by Senate Clerk Susan Schaar, left, prior to the opening ceremonies of the 2014 General Assembly at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. Deeds face bears the wounds suffered during a domestic altercation with his son.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, right, is greeted by Senate Clerk Susan Schaar, left, prior to the opening ceremonies of the 2014 General Assembly at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. Deeds face bears the wounds suffered during a domestic altercation with his son.

Authorities may be able detain a mentally ill individual for up to 24 hours in emergency custody under a bill approved by the Virginia Senate.

The chamber voted 38-0 in favor of a proposal by Senator Creigh Deeds, a Democrat from Bath County.

Deeds was attacked last year by his son, Gus, after the younger Deeds was released from an emergency custody order hours earlier. Gus Deeds was released after a local community services board said it was unable to locate an available psychiatric bed within the six hours allotted by law.

Gus Deeds committed suicide after attacking his father.

In an impassioned speech on the Senate floor, Deeds said giving authorities extra time to find psychiatric beds could help save lives.

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