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Va. Senate Approves Mental Health Bill

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RICHMOND, Va. — Authorities could detain a mentally ill individual for up to 24 hours in emergency custody under a bill approved by the Virginia Senate.

The upper chamber voted 38-0 Monday to approve a proposal by Sen. 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 in the area 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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