By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Twelfth District Del. Joseph Yost, who represents part of Pulaski County, has been appointed to a mental health subcommittee introduced in the 2014 General Assembly by Bath County Sen. Creigh Deeds.
The Joint Subcommittee to Study Mental Health Services will look into what mental health facilities, programs, services and financing will be needed in the 21st century to address mental health care in the Commonwealth.
Deeds’ 24-year-old son stabbed him multiple times in the head and chest during a November altercation outside their residence in Millboro. Although Deeds eventually recovered, police said his son died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Deeds’ son had been turned away from mental health treatment a day earlier due to a lack of space in mental health facilities, according to reports at the time of the incident. As a result Deeds patroned Senate Joint Resolution No. 47, creating the subcommittee, during the 2014 General Assembly session.
“I am deeply humbled by this appointment and very appreciative to the Speaker for placing his trust in me as we continue to examine Virginia’s mental health system,” Yost said of his appointment to the committee. “While we accomplished much (with regards to mental health issues) in the 2014 session, it was only a start and much work remains to be done.”
Yost also is a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response. He has received numerous recognitions and awards from mental health organizations across Virginia for his efforts to increase funding for mental health services and changes to Virginia’s mental health laws.
In addition to parts of Virginia, the 12th District also includes parts of Montgomery County and Radford City and all of Giles County.