Alaska Mental Health Trust Grants $1.1 Million to Housing, Treatment Beneficiaries
The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority recently approved a batch of grants totaling more than $1.1 million to partner organizations across the state. These grants represent investments in supportive housing, workforce development, and improved communications.
Split Five Ways
For the largest of the grants, the Trust joins other funding partners.
- OpenBeds Real-Time Treatment Facility Availability Platform
Alaska Department of Health and Social Service (DHSS), Division of Public Health: $285,000 (statewide)
OpenBeds is a secure, cloud-based behavioral health capacity and referral platform that provides real-time access and referral capabilities between call centers, providers, and stakeholders, as well as community members seeking services through a public-facing referral webpage. Trust funds support the continued and expanded use of the OpenBeds platform, currently used by the state and numerous health care providers to help communicate treatment facility availability, data analytics, and more.
- SHARP Workforce Recruitment and Direct Incentive Support
Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API): $255,150 (statewide)
Trust funds support SHARP contracts for three advanced nurse practitioners, one physician’s assistant, and two medical doctors at API. SHARP is a state program run by DHSS that improves professional recruitment and retention by providing loan reimbursement or direct financial incentives to medical and behavioral health practitioners who commit to working in the state. These six SHARP contracts with API clinicians help stabilize the staffing pattern for the state-run mental hospital.
- Recidivism Reduction and Recovery Project
Set Free Alaska: $250,000 (Mat-Su)
This project addresses the primary risk factors of ongoing criminal activity and substance misuse through an innovative therapeutic campus model, offering both treatment and wraparound supports. Trust funds support a residential facility for up to thirty Trust beneficiaries and provide a comprehensive recidivism reduction and recovery model that includes supportive housing, certified peer support, therapeutic treatment, education and job skills, and intensive case management.
- Adult Residential Treatment Housing
The Arc of Anchorage: $216,000 (Anchorage)
This Trust grant provides startup funding for operations and facility upgrades at three residential homes for adult residential treatment in Anchorage. The homes serve adults exiting the Department of Corrections who experience intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD), symptoms of mental illness, and/or substance use challenges. The homes provide a stable environment that supports reintegration into the community and where residents can receive intensive clinical treatment services. Currently, resources for reintegration and support services for individuals experiencing an IDD and mental health diagnoses are severely limited.
- Alaska Careline: Infrastructure Development
Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living (IAC): $197,400 (statewide)
Later this year, a Federal Communications Commission-approved three-digit dialing code, 988, will become the nationwide National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number. Currently, the Careline, Alaska’s crisis hotline operated by IAC, responds to Alaska behavioral health crisis calls statewide. When 988 comes online, calls to 988 made in Alaska will be routed to the Careline, resulting in an anticipated increase in call volume. The Trust’s grant funding will help increase Careline capacity through additional technology, infrastructure, and call counselor and management positions.
The Trust distributes, on average, $25 million in grants each year to Alaska organizations that serve Trust beneficiaries. Grants support nonprofits, providers, state and local agencies, and projects that promote long-term system change or innovative solutions that improve the lives and circumstances of Trust beneficiaries. Broadly, those beneficiaries include Alaskans with mental illness, developmental disabilities, chronic alcohol or drug addictions, traumatic brain injuries, or Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
“These grant investments are a great illustration of how the Trust uses its resources to implement systems change improvements within our continuum of care,” says Trust CEO Steve Williams. “We are grateful to our partners at the state and in the behavioral health care sector for their work championing new and innovative solutions to meet Trust beneficiary needs and improve the systems that serve vulnerable Alaskans.”