USDA Rural Development Funds New Mental Health Facility
The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development is improving the lives of the residents of LaPorte County and surrounding counties by presenting a $2,000,000 USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Community Facilities loan to LaPorte County Comprehensive Mental Health Council, Inc. (d/b/a The Swanson Center). The Rural Development funds will be used to purchase and renovate a building to house the organization’s administrative offices as well as mental health services.
The funds awarded to the Swanson Center further demonstrate the Obama Administration’s unyielding efforts to improve the quality of life for rural residents by ensuring that rural communities benefit from quality public facilities. As part of the Administration’s ongoing commitment to help individuals experiencing mental health problems, loans such as this increase access to mental health services and improved mental health facilities.
Last December, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture had set a goal of investing up to $50 million to increase access to mental health care in rural areas over the next three years. The funding is for the construction, expansion, or equipping of rural mental health facilities and will be provided through the Community Facilities loan program. USDA’s effort to provide better mental health care in rural areas is part of President Obama’s ongoing commitment to address mental illness.
Here are some key points regarding the USDA's goals when it comes to mental health:
- In 2013, USDA invested more than $649 million in 130 rural health care facilities – serving nearly 3.2 million rural residents. These investments included critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, psychiatric hospitals, mental health care facilities, group homes for people with disabilities, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and vocation and medical rehabilitation facilities.
- USDA is also investing in innovative healthcare technologies such as telemedicine, to further expand access to health care services throughout rural America.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.