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White House marking Newtown shooting anniversary

Wednesday - 12/11/2013, 5:44pm  ET

Vice President Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a photo opportunity with Newtown shooting family members and supporters, from left, Ricki Seidman, adviser, Sandy Hook Foundation; Katy Sherlach, Georgetown Graduate student and daughter of Bill Sherlach; Bill Sherlach, widower of school psychologist Mary Sherlach; and Jeremy Richman, father of Avielle Richman, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, where he talked about the administration’s efforts to increase access to mental health services. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden is pledging more funding for mental health as the White House prepares to remember the first anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

The White House says President Barack Obama and the first lady will observe a moment of silence at the White House on Saturday's anniversary in memory of the victims.

With Obama in South Africa on Tuesday, Biden met with victims' relatives to announce that $100 million will become available for mental health services.

About $50 million will be offered to help community health centers hire providers and add services for mental illness and addiction. The government aims to provide another $50 million in financing for rural mental health facilities.

The Obama administration has made mental health a focus since control legislation stalled in Congress.

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