- (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar)
The White House has announced that they will give $100 million to help fund improvements in mental health facilities and access in the United States.
Vice President Joe Biden explained the situation prompting the funding as the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre draws near.
"The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable," stated Biden. "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 $100 million will be divided in two, with $50 million going to mental health services at community health centers, and the other $50 million going to improve facilities that specialize in mental health, reads the White House press release.
On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and killed 27 people, including the school principal and 20 children. The shocking event led to calls from many for stricter gun control laws, as well as better access and quality of mental illness treatment. Investigators could not determine a specific cause for the Lanza's motives.
James Tyll, spokesman for the American Psychiatric Association, provided The Christian Post with a statement from the organization.
"The APA applauds the White House's announcement of $100 million in critical funding for community-based mental health and substance disorder services, which are a critical component in promoting access to much-needed care," stated the APA.
APA stressed that these new funds are important, especially since public funding for mental health efforts is decreasing.
"Government funding of mental health has been on the decline as the population has continued to increase. The CDC estimates that one in four Americans are currently suffering from a mental illness and that nearly half of us will suffer from one in our lifetime," stated the APA. "We need to integrate mental health back into medical health and implement equitable treatment and follow up for mental health issues, just like we do for other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension."