Gov. McDonnell Focuses on Mental Health

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) Less than a month after Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed and his son was killed in what police describe as an attempted murder-suicide, Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing for more than $30 million to be added to Virginia's mental health system.

McDonnell also wants a task force created to find areas in need of improvement.

Dr. Lennis Echterling, a clinical psychologist and professor at JMU. , says about half a million people in Virginia deal with mental illness.

He thinks the governor's proposal is a step in the right direction.

"So we know that they are certainly at risk for loss of life and we want to do everything we can that's immediate and intensive. To address these problems to prevent future tragedies," said Echterling.

Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden also pushed for access to mental health services to be expanded.

This all comes days before the anniversary of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting.

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