Deeds blames mental-health system for son’s death

WASHINGTON – Virginia state Sen. Creigh Deeds blames the local mental-health system for his son’s death and says he’ll work to make sure other families don’t experience what his family has.

Police say Gus Deeds attacked his father with a knife, stabbing him in the face and chest, before taking his own life last week.

The Democratic senator tells The Recorder newspaper, “My life’s work now is to make sure other families don’t have to go through what we are living,” The Washington Post reports.

Deeds exchanged emails with The Recorder about what happened.

The 2009 Democratic nominee for governor says the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board that administers mental-health and substance-abuse services is “responsible” for the tragedy.

Statewide, there are 40 community services boards and behavioral-health authorities that make up the state’s mental-health system.

The senator says part of the problem with providing services is Bath County’s rural isolation.

Gus Deeds had a psychiatric evaluation the day before the attack and judge issued an emergency custody order. He returned home that evening because no psychiatric bed could be found.

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