Obama Admin Allocates $100 Million for Mental-Health Services

Less than half of mentally ill getting treatment they need, Biden says.

President Obama speaks about immigration reform alongside Vice President Joe Biden in the East Room of the White House on Thursday.
National Journal
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Clara Ritger
Dec. 10, 2013, 9:55 a.m.

Men­tal-health fa­cil­it­ies and pro­viders will re­ceive a $100 mil­lion in­crease in fed­er­al fund­ing, Vice Pres­id­ent Joe Biden an­nounced Tues­day.

The Health and Hu­man Ser­vices De­part­ment will award $50 mil­lion to com­munity health cen­ters to es­tab­lish or ex­pand ser­vices for people liv­ing with men­tal ill­ness or ad­dic­tion. The Ag­ri­cul­ture De­part­ment will fin­ance the oth­er $50 mil­lion for the im­prove­ment or es­tab­lish­ment of men­tal-health fa­cil­it­ies in rur­al areas.

“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 press re­lease. “The Pres­id­ent and I have made it a pri­or­ity to do everything we can to make it easi­er to ac­cess men­tal health ser­vices, and today’s an­nounce­ments by the U.S. De­part­ments of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices and Ag­ri­cul­ture build on that com­mit­ment.”

The an­nounce­ment comes one year after the deadly shoot­ing at Sandy Hook Ele­ment­ary in New­town, Conn., which left 20 stu­dents and six adults dead.

The pres­id­ent has also pro­posed an ad­di­tion­al $130 mil­lion in his 2014 budget for teach­er train­ing and aware­ness about the signs of men­tal ill­ness in youth, but that fund­ing is sub­ject to con­gres­sion­al ap­prov­al.


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