the republic logo

Admissions to state mental hospital and psychiatric facilities increase after Deeds tragedy

Share/Save/Bookmark

RICHMOND, Virginia — Admissions at mental health facilities have spiked following the high profile suicide of a state senator's son.

Mental health and state officials told the Governor's Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response on Thursday that they did not know how long the surge would last.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1kQAeal ) reports Western State Hospital in Staunton had admitted 23 people under temporary detention orders since Jan. 1, up from six admissions in the previous six months.

Gus Deeds attacked his father, Sen. Creigh Deeds, last November at their Bath County homestead hours after being released from custody because no psychiatric bed could be found in the time allotted by state law. Gus Deeds killed himself following the attack.

The General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year attempting to address some of the problems highlighted by the Deeds case. One new law, which won't go into effect until July 1, requires state hospitals to admit people for temporary detention if no beds can be found after eight hours.

Besides state hospitals, private hospitals have also seen an increase in emergency psychiatric admissions.

"Private providers also are seeing increased demand for inpatient beds," said Betty Long, vice president of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, She said the increase was due, at least in part, to the Deeds family tragedy.

"Intuitively, the feeling is yes, some piece of this is the result of people being more cautious now" in seeking emergency psychiatric care, Long said.

The increased demand is putting pressure on state institutions that have attempted to downsize by shifting patients into communities for treatment.

The Commonwealth Center's 48 beds have been almost always full recently. The center is the only state hospital for children and adolescents.


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


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

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All comments are moderated before posting. Your email address must be verified with Disqus in order for your comment to appear.
View our commenting guidelines and FAQ's here.

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.