- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 26, 2022

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is proposing a new agenda on mental health priorities following two mass shootings that left roughly 10 people dead.

Mr. Youngkin said he would seek to shore up resources for mental health precautions, including efforts to provide immediate help to those undergoing mental health crises and adding more staff.

“It’s extremely important,” Mr. Youngkin told reporters this week. “We know that we have been in a mental health crisis, and there are some very immediate actions that we need to take.”

Virginia has faced major staffing shortfalls that forced the closure of five mental hospitals to new admissions due to safety concerns, according to The Virginia Mercury.

The number of patients admitted to state hospitals through temporary detention orders has increased by almost 400%.

On gun laws, Mr. Youngkin declined to comment on such issues, adding that it’s “not the time” to discuss firearms while investigations remain pending.

“I fundamentally believe that there is going to be a moment to talk about these things. I believe the people who are trying to bring them up are trying to talk about things that really have a time. Today’s not the time. Today’s the time to support families and bring people together. There will be a moment to talk about these things,” Mr. Youngkin said.

Mr. Youngkin‘s comments follow two mass shootings in Virginia, including one last week at a Chesapeake Walmart on Tuesday night that left seven people dead.

Four people also remain hospitalized. The shooter died of a self-sustained injury.

Earlier this month, a University of Virginia student shot and killed three former football teammates and injured two on a bus that was returning from a field trip to Washington.

The alleged shooter is in custody, and the state attorney general’s office is conducting an external investigation into the matter at the request of the university.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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