Mental health legislation advancing in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. - Legislation aimed at reforming Virginia's mental health system is gaining ground in Richmond.

The House of Delegates Mental Health Subcommittee endorsed three mental health reform bills sponsored by Delegate Rob Bell.

The first will require individuals ordered into treatment be admitted to a state hospital if no other bed can be located.

The second bill would move the person to a more appropriate facility if one is found during the 48-hour detention period without having to go back to court to approve the transfer.

The third will require better training for health care providers to ensure they know how to best find placements.

Proposals to add two hours to the emergency custody order time by two hours and creating an online beds registry have also been gaining support.

The attention comes after State Senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed by his son who had just been release from a mental health hold after a bed was not available.

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