Once again mental health has been thrown into the spotlight following a tragic event where a senator was stabbed by his son. On November 19th US senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed by his 24 year old son, Gus Deeds, multiple times in the chest and head. After the stabbing was finished, Deed’s son turned a gun on himself. The senator survived the stabbing but his son wasn’t lucky enough to survive his self-inflicted gunshot.
What makes this tragedy so bad is not just the stabbing, but the fact that Gus Deeds, only a mere 13 hours before his attack, was in emergency custody undergoing a mental health evaluation. The Rockbridge Area Community Services Board is the state’s overseer for mental health services, and unfortunately they were said to have not been able to find a center that could accommodate and provide treatment for Gus.
Since Gus’s attack on his father Creigh, the senator has come out saying that his new goal is now to work to fix the mental healthcare system in place. He told a Virginia newspaper called The Recorder “I am alive for a reason, and I will work for changeâ€¦.I owe that to my precious son â€¦ I have very strong opinions about the CSB, and feel like they are responsible”
Creigh is now vowing to make changes to our mental health system in order to prevent tragedies like his own from happening and to prevent families like his own from the suffering that such a tragedy bares. With any luck Creigh could be the person to make significant changes in our mental health system so that next time someone goes for a mental health evaluation they aren’t turned down from centers because they are unable to accommodate or are unable to provide treatment.