Veteran seeking mental health treatment after threatening to kill officials | Crime News
The Vinton man at the center of Roanoke County’s first red flag case is seeking mental health treatment ahead of his next hearing, his attorney said.
Douglas Paul England, 45, called the Crisis Line for Veterans July 21 and asked for help. Failing to get the help he sought, he threatened to kill local government officials, according to court documents.
An Emergency Substantial Risk Order was filed against England under Virginia’s 2-year-old Red Flag statute, and England voluntarily surrendered its weapons to law enforcement.
At a hearing on August 5, a judge ruled that England’s possession of the weapons could pose a significant threat to the community, and the risk order was extended until October 21.
England lawyer Rob Dean said in a written statement that the veteran will seek mental health treatment before his next court date.
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“Mr. England, a veteran with no criminal history, was reported to be suffering from a mental health crisis which prompted his alleged conduct on the date in question, in contrast to his life of military service and civic engagement. “, Dean wrote in an email on Wednesday.
During the 90-day extension of the substantial risk order, Dean said England should follow up with its healthcare providers.
“He has cooperated fully with law enforcement and he appreciates the diligence and professionalism of the Vinton Police Department in assisting him,” Dean said.
When England called the hotline in July, he most likely spoke with a US Department of Veterans Affairs employee at a crisis line center in New York or Atlanta.
Kathleen Foust is Community Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Program at Salem VA Medical Center. She said calls to New York or Atlanta that require further evaluation are forwarded to the caller’s local VA medical center.
“We will do follow-up calls with these people,” Foust said in an interview on Friday.
Foust said local law enforcement officers often work closely with the VA center, sometimes transporting veterans in need of medical services. Officers, paramedics, firefighters and 911 dispatchers can also receive training through the center.
“Some VA personnel participate in training called Crisis Response Team training,” Foust said. “It’s basically training that is offered to police officers, then called CIT officers, who are able to respond to mental health crises in the community.
Foust said the 67,000 eligible veterans in the 26 Virginia counties the center serves all have different needs and may call the crisis line for different reasons.
“Sometimes they struggle with something like post-traumatic stress disorder. But often it’s because they’re dealing with family stressors, they don’t know how to access their benefits, they’ve tried to get information about a number of things they might ask,” Foust said.
But experts — on the phone and in person — are available to help veterans with mental health issues at any time.
“We have a program called Primary Care Mental Health Integration,” Foust said. “It’s basically a walk-in mental health clinic. Veterans can come to this VA, even if they are not enrolled in care, if they have mental health issues they can meet with one of our social workers and psychologists.
This program runs Monday through Friday during normal business hours.
“If there’s a crisis after hours, of course we have our ER here. It’s a 24-hour service, and there’s always psychiatric coverage,” Foust said. many other mental health resources here.If people have questions about what this might be for specific issues, I would strongly encourage them to call and ask and we can point them in the right direction.