Lt. gov to lead Va. mental health task force

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam will lead a state task force on mental health.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order Wednesday extending a task force first created by former Gov. Bob McDonnell last year following the suicide of a state senator’s son.

The task force is supposed to make recommendations on how to improve mental health and crisis response services.

Last November, Sen. Creigh Deeds’ mentally ill son attacked his father then committed suicide at their Bath County homestead after being release from custody because no psychiatric beds were available. The General Assembly passed a series of mental health laws this year aimed at fixing problems highlighted in the Deeds’ case.

In a statement, Northam said he looks forward to trying to fix serious gaps in mental health care.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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