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Multiple reports say Gus Deeds admitted to hospital Monday under emergency custody order

By Chris Hurst, churst@wdbj7.com
Published On: Nov 20 2013 12:06:49 AM EST
Updated On: Nov 20 2013 12:07:23 AM EST

Multiple reports say Gus Deeds was admitted to Bath Community Hospital yesterday under an emergency custody order filed by the local magistrate. That means he's held at a hospital for up to six hours to see if he needs to be placed into temporary detention. But he was released because there were no psychiatric beds available for him in western Virginia.

ROANOKE, Va. -

Multiple reports say Gus Deeds was admitted to Bath Community Hospital Monday under an emergency custody order filed by the local magistrate.

That means he's held at a hospital for up to six hours to see if he needs to be placed into temporary detention.

But he was released because there were no psychiatric beds available for him in western Virginia.

That has us wondering how can that happen?

It’s been something those in the mental health community have been afraid of for some time.

A study by the Treatment Advocacy Center says Virginia lost more than 250 psychiatric beds from 2005 to 2010.

That's 15 percent of all the state-run rooms available for patients with mental health issues who could cause harm to themselves or others.

And then there's a report by the office of the Inspector General just last year that looked at a 90 day window and found 72 cases just like this one where a patient could have been placed in temporary detention, but no hospital could take them. Half the time it says, a state-run facility wasn't even contacted.

That's only one and a half percent all cases, but the report hoped that it would lead to changes in the way we help our neighbors with mental health issues, calling it a "canary in a coal mine."

Those cases where a temporary detention order is needed but no hospital will take them happened more often in our area than anywhere else: nearly sixty percent of those cases.