09/04/2014 04:58 pm ET

Virgina Lawmaker Creigh Deeds: Mental Health Reform Is Failing At The Federal Level

Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds would've preferred to not be in his own position as he became the face of mental health reform in his home state.

Deeds' son, Austin, didn't show signs of mental illness until after he was 18, which put significant legal roadblocks in the way of getting treatment. Austin Deeds, who went by "Gus," committed suicide in 2013, stabbing his father in the back before taking his own life.

Creigh Deeds stopped by HuffPost Live on Thursday to discuss his ongoing fight for a better mental health support system in this country, starting in Virginia and hopefully leading the movement nationwide. In Virginia, Deeds said, Democrats and Republicans have come together on this issue, which he said does not happen at the federal level.

"I count myself unfortunately in that group of Americans that just feel like Congress is not capable at this point of solving these basic problems. Democrats and Republicans don't talk to one another. It's very frustrating to me," Deeds told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. "The Tea Party ... takeover of government these days, particularly the Republican party, just scares the heck out of me. It means that government doesn't function at the federal level."

Just before his HuffPost Live conversation, Deeds received the Richard Greer Advocacy Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Watch the rest of the clip above, and catch the rest of the Deeds' HuffPost Live conversation here.

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