Alaska Behavioral Health Expands Services to All Alaskans
New certification offers nine key mental health services.
With a mission to strengthen Alaska communities through the delivery of behavioral healthcare, Anchorage/Fairbanks Community Mental Health Services’ recent name change to Alaska Behavioral Health reflects a growing outreach area and expanded services. The organization is also a newly Certified Community Behavioral Health Center with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).
Mental Health America ranks Alaska 46th out of 51 for having a higher prevalence of mental illness and lower rates of access to care. As a certified community behavioral health provider, Alaska Behavioral is able to meet high-quality standards in providing nine key services throughout Alaska:
● Crisis mental health services
● Screening and evaluation
● Outpatient mental health and substance misuse services
● Primary care screening and monitoring
● Client-centered treatment planning
● Targeted case management
● Psychiatric rehabilitation services
● Peer and family support
● Intensive community-based mental health care for veterans and members of the armed forces
“Many of the required initiatives to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Center were already underway,” said Joshua Arvidson, ABH director of Child & Family programs. “Even though we had a jumpstart, there were still some hurdles in the process. Knowing there is a demand for these types of services in our state and seeing how it ultimately helps our patients thrive, makes it all worth the fight.”
Alaska Behavioral aims to improve outcomes for children and adults experiencing mental health issues in Alaska by expanding and improving existing services, developing new services to meet the critical shortage of treatment options for substance use disorder and co-occurring disorders, expanding and developing its workforce, and improving primary care integration and psychiatric medical practices. Services are available to anyone in the state via an encrypted, HIPPA compliant version of Zoom video conferencing.
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“We want our existing clients to know Alaska Behavioral Health is still the same licensed staff they’ve trusted for their care over the years,” said Anchorage Behavioral Health CEO Jim Meyers. “We’ve grown so much in forty-six years; it was time to expand our services outside of Anchorage and Fairbanks and choose a name that reflects that. The launch of our telehealth services really helped us kickstart this process, giving Alaskans the ability to access mental health services from virtually anywhere.“
For anyone facing a financial crisis, Alaska Behavioral will work out a payment plan for any situation. Medicaid/Medicare and private insurances are welcome.
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Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.