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Virginia State Senator Deeds speaks on ’60 Minutes’ about son’s mental health

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Virginia State Senator R. Creigh Deeds, who represents the 24th District, relayed his story about his son’s altercation with him on the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes” recently. Still wearing the scars on his face from the attack his son lashed upon him in an apparent murder-suicide, the tragic incident revealed a case of mental health that needed to be controlled.

Austin Deeds was 24 when he stabbed his father on November 19, 2013 and then took his own life. The day before the shooting, he had a psychiatric evaluation and could have been admitted to a hospital. But the place where he was no beds were available; however the Washington Post revealed “Officials initially said that was because no beds could be located before the custody order expired. But three nearby hospitals later confirmed that they had space but never were contacted.” The senator was hospitalized due to his stabbings and released on November 22.

"I was concerned that if he came home, there was going to be a crisis," Deeds stated on the program. "I really don’t want Gus to be defined by his illness," Deeds continued. "I don't want Gus to be defined by what happened on the 19th. Gus was a great kid. He was a perfect son. It's clear the system failed. It's clear that it failed Gus. It killed Gus."

Before he left office, ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell proposed a $38 million dollar bill on mental health issues. According to the Washington Post –

McDonnell also issued an executive order — his 68th — to create a task force on mental health services. It calls for mental health, hospital, law enforcement and judicial officials, along with people with mental illness and their families, to recommend ways to improve the state’s mental health services and help prevent crises.

More on the 60 Minutes program with Senator Deeds can be viewed below



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