Reuters: Biden announces mental health push on eve of Newtown anniversary

BY JEFF MASON AND ROBERTA RAMPTON

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves to the crowd as he leaves after delivering his speech at Yonsei University in Seoul December 6, 2013. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves to the crowd as he leaves after delivering his speech at Yonsei University in Seoul December 6, 2013.

CREDIT: REUTERS/KIM HONG-JI 

(Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a new push to increase access to mental health services with $100 million in new government funding nearly a year after a school shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut.

Biden, who spearheaded a failed Obama administration campaign for stronger gun control measures following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, met with families of the victims and mental health advocates.

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

President Barack Obama has said the worst day of his presidency was December 14, 2012, the day a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the school before turning a gun on himself.

The motive for the shooting is unknown. In a report released last month, state investigators said the 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza, acted alone, using guns legally purchased by his mother, whom he shot dead before driving to the school. Lanza had attended the school.

Families of the victims and residents of Newtown, a suburban community about 70 miles northeast of New York City, have asked for privacy as the Saturday anniversary of the mass shooting nears.

Continue reading here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/10/us-usa-shooting-mentalhealth-idUSBRE9B90CU20131210

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