Biden touts new funds for mental health

Vice President Biden announced Tuesday that the administration is devoting an additional $100 million to improving mental health services in local communities.

The notice came just days before the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.

Biden, who led the administration's push for stricter gun laws in the wake of the killings, met with victims' families Tuesday.

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Shooter Adam Lanza reportedly suffered from significant mental health problems in the years leading up to the massacre. Lanza killed 20 children and six adults, as well as himself, at the school on Dec. 14, 2012.

Biden highlighted the difficulty for many people in finding good mental health care.

"The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable," Biden said in a statement.

"The president and I have made it a priority to do everything we can to make it easier to access mental health services," he said.

The chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force praised the funding as an "essential" step in curbing shootings.

"Making sure those who need care can get care makes our communities safer and helps prevent and reduce gun violence," said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.).

The $100 million in funding will come from two sources: federal health officials will issue half from ObamaCare, and the Department of Agriculture will issue half from a direct loan program.

The funding streams will support mental health services at community health centers and the construction and expansion of facilities in rural areas.