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A year after Newtown, Biden announces more mental health funding

Source: Reuters - Tue, 10 Dec 2013 11:00 AM
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden will announce on Tuesday a new push to increase access to mental health services with $100 million in new government funding a year after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, sparked a failed push for stronger gun control measures.

Biden, who spearheaded President Barack Obama's gun control initiatives, will discuss the new money during a meeting with families of the victims of the school shooting and mental health advocates, a White House official said.

The money will come from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the official said.

"HHS will soon issue a $50 million funding opportunity to help Community Health Centers establish or expand behavioral health services for people living with mental illness or addiction," the official said.

"Additionally, USDA has set a goal of financing $50 million for the construction, expansion, or improvement of mental health facilities in rural areas over the next three years." (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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