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New Law Will Improve Access to Mental Health Care for Veterans in Rural Areas

Sgt. Ketchum

President Joe Biden’s recent signature on the Sgt. Brandon Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act of 2021 will soon expand mental health resources to veterans in rural areas. The new law marks important progress for one of Wounded Warrior Project’s (WWP) legislative priorities. In April 2021, WWP testified to the needs of rural veterans during a hearing before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Health.

This law will establish three new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Rural Access Network for Growth Enhancement (RANGE) program centers. The centers will provide outpatient services and community-based care for rural veterans diagnosed with serious mental health issues. It will also support research on rural veterans’ mental health care needs and treatment options.

“The scarcity of suitable mental health support and providers in rural communities creates barriers to care for veterans,” said WWP CEO Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington. “All veterans should have access to the mental health care and resources they need to live fulfilling lives after service. Wounded Warrior Project is grateful for Congress’s swift action and the President’s support for this new law. We look forward to continuing our work with Congress to close the gaps in care that exist for veterans in rural areas.”

Wounded Warrior Project is committed to making mental health care more accessible for all veterans, and that includes extending more services to those living in rural areas. Learn more about WWP’s other legislative priorities and how we work with our nation’s leaders to improve the lives of wounded veterans and their families.

Contact: Mattison Brooks, Communications Specialist, mbrooks@woundedwarriorproject.org, 202.969.1120

About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.