A northwest Indiana mental health facility has secured a $2 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Swanson Center in LaPorte will use the funding to renovate a building that will serve as an administrative and services office. February 19, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – 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.

Indiana USDA Rural Development State Director Phil Lehmkuhler announced the selection of the Community Facilities project. “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,” Lehmkuhler said.

This past 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.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $189 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.

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.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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