Virginia governor announces millions for mental health
December 10th, 2013
01:27 PM ET
8 months ago

Virginia governor announces millions for mental health

(CNN) – Outgoing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia proposed $38.3 million in new funds Tuesday for mental health services over the next two years.

While officials say the budget plans and other initiatives have been in the works for a while, the announcement comes less than a month after Democratic state Sen. Creigh Deeds was stabbed more than 10 times by his son, who then shot and killed himself.

Deeds' son, Gus, was reportedly getting a mental health evaluation one day prior to the incident, but he was released from treatment because the facility lacked enough psychiatric beds.

Creigh Deeds: 'I am alive for a reason'

"This is about fixing the system for all Virginians," McDonnell said. "Obviously it was a heartbreaking situation we experienced here recently. Senator Deeds is a very good man, good public servant. Obviously heart-broken about losing his son."

The announcement also comes the same day as Vice President Joe Biden is set to announce $100 million in new funding for mental health initiatives, nearly a year after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

For its part, Virginia robustly increased its mental health spending after the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007. But McDonnell said the commonwealth needs to do more.

"Just looking over the last six-seven years, I think we just have a deeper obligation to try to...put resources into the system for everybody," he said.

The new funds will go towards crisis intervention and substance abuse disorders. McDonnell added that the commonwealth has dedicated even more money towards preventative measures involving mental health this year. All told, the amount comes close to $100 million, he said.

McDonnell, whose term ends in January, also proposed the creation of a task force that will make further recommendations for other initiatives.

His successor, Democratic Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe, praised McDonnell and pledged to uphold the new efforts.

"As governor I will work with the General Assembly to build upon the solid foundation Governor McDonnell laid today so that all Virginians can access the care and resources they need to live safe, healthy and productive lives here in the Commonwealth," he said in a statement.


Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Mental Health • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Good. At least he's doing something about it.

    December 10, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. CB FL

    When is going to jail. Oh that's right laws don't apply to some.

    December 10, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. just asking

    but how will they get the dangerously mentally ill off the streets so they aren't a danger to the rest of society? some of these killers were in 'treatment' nd it didn't seem to make any difference.

    December 10, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. C.F. Adams

    Isn't that amazing! As anyone associated with emergency medicine, in Virginia knows, the Commonwealth has turned its back on the mentally ill now for over two decades, shutting down programs over and over again, but let one politician's son go off the rails and suddenly, the Virginia cares!

    December 10, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    If McDonnell doesn't provide funding for it, then he's actually playing a drity trick on his successor.

    December 10, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    That won't save you from prosecution for your bribes, McDonnell.

    December 10, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Dead Bear

    Did I just see something bi-partisan take place??? I thought I was gonna die of old age before I saw something like that happen again.

    December 10, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    Guns & Crazies are a bad combo. Work on both at the same time & we might see some progress. It will inconvenience some who feel that the 2nd Ammend. is THE only Law of the Land & doesn't have to balanced against the rights of Non Gun Nut American who want to pursue life, liberty & happiness w/out the constant news of senseless & often mass gun violence, BUT, it's also an inconvenience to get a Drivers License from the Guvment in order to legally drive a vehicle.

    December 10, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Political stunt.

    December 10, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. anonymous

    Rudy NYC
    If McDonnell doesn't provide funding for it, then he's actually playing a drity trick on his successor.
    ---

    too funny! since when were the democrats and lefties worried about paying for things??? why aren't you similarly worried about paying for obama's $7 trillion in debt?

    December 10, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. simplyput

    Got mental health?

    December 10, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    To bad it takes a personal tragedy for the GOP to move on anything they look on as charity. That's why they are done for in 2014!!!!

    December 10, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. rs

    A step in the right direction no doubt., but it will take more money than that to fix. BTW- this is the sort of critical first step needed to build a legal framework to get guns away from people who are too mentally ill to have them.

    December 10, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. current state of the union

    7 trillion, I dare you to use that math on your tax returns, explain it to me as though I were a child, how did that bad man run up all that debt? It was 11.8 then add the bailout, 2-3 trillion for the wars, or were the wars free?:

    December 10, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. truth hurts but reality bites

    The new funds will go towards crisis intervention and substance abuse disorders. McDonnell added that the commonwealth has dedicated even more money towards preventative measures involving mental health this year. All told, the amount comes close to $100 million, he said.
    ----–

    Substance abuse disorders? So now alcoholics, dope addicts and pill poppers are taking money from people with REAL mental disorders?! Sorry, I cannot agree with this as a priority. ALL of this money should be going to the truly mentally ill, NOT the self inflicted wounded..

    December 10, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |