Creigh Deeds to push for mental health reform after stabbing

Deeds was stabbed by his son, Gus, at their Bath County home on Nov. 19. Photo: Associated Press

(WJLA) - Virginia State Sen. Creigh Deeds says that overhauling and fixing the state's mental health system is now his life's work after he says it failed his son, Gus, who shot and killed himself last week.

Austin "Gus" Deeds, 24, was released from an emergency custody order that evaluated his mental health on Nov. 18; less than a day later, he stabbed his father multiple times at their Bath County home before shooting himself.

In an interview with The Recorder in western Virginia, Deeds said that he blames the mental health agency that saw his son for his death and will use the ordeal to push for major change.

"I will work for a change," Deeds said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "I owe that to my precious son."

Deeds was stabbed multiple times by his son on Nov. 19 and was released from a Charlottesville hospital several days later. He's now turning his attention to the Rockbridge Area Community Services Board, whom he says released his son from emergency custody because they couldn't find him a spot in a psychiatric facility for further treatment.

The Times-Dispatch says that, by law, Virginia agencies can only hold psychiatric patients for 6 hours.

"My life's work now is to make sure other families don't have to go through what we are living," Deeds told The Recorder.

Several Virginia hospitals told the Associated Press after the presumed attempted murder-suicide that they had available beds for the younger Deeds.