Register today for events this week-
See details below!
Art Show Submission Deadline this week!
Expanding Access to Psychiatric Care
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Curt Wengel has accepted the position of Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Wengel joined Alaska Behavioral Health as our child Psychiatrist in summer 2020. During his time at AKBH, staff and clients have enthused about his collaborative approach to care and how much they learn by working with him. (Get a first-hand view at our May webinar, see details below.)

Dr. Wengel has been acting Chief Medical Officer since January. He will continue providing direct client care in addition to overseeing our medical department. He is assisted in that role by Director of Nursing Jessica Estes, DNP, APRN PMHNP (pictured below left showing her spirit on Go Blue Day).
Estes is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, who previously served as Executive Director of the Kentucky Board of Nursing, and operated a private psychiatric care practice.

At Alaska Behavioral Health, she has spearheaded efforts to expand walk-in medical clinic hours for current clients. Wait times for scheduled medical appointments can run several weeks. Weekly walk-in hours allow current clients who need an immediate medication adjustment or may have missed an appointment a quicker option to see a provider. Clients can call or come in Tuesday mornings in Anchorage to get on the schedule for the day. Starting, April 21, walk-in hours will be offered in Fairbanks on Wednesday afternoons.
Spring Education Series
Alaska Behavioral Health is hosting a series of webinars on mental health topics this spring. Join us to increase your understanding of mental wellness!
Upcoming Topics
April 14 @ 6:00: Building Resilience through Safe Connections
A Sexual Assault Awareness Month presentation, co-hosted with STAR Alaska
Alaska unfortunately leads the nation when it comes to sexual assault rates – nearly 4 times the national average. Most of the victims are women, many are younger than 18 years old, and most assaults take place at a residence or home. Add in a pandemic that has people feeling isolated and disconnected, and it’s a tough reality. But therapists are finding methods that are helping victims recover and seem to reduce their chances of becoming repeat victims, by focusing on positive, safe connections as a way to build resilience. Learn about the importance of safe connections and what makes them safe, and about opportunities for building those connections. Presenters are Christine Alvarez, LPC, Chief of Clinical Operations for Adult Services at Alaska Behavioral Health, and Eden Lunsford, LPC and trauma therapist with Star Alaska. 

May 12 @ 6:00: Managing Depression & Anxiety: Role of Medications with
In this presentation, our psychiatrist and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Curt Wengel will discuss the role of medications in managing common mental health issues – including how psychiatric medications can help, and what their limits are.

Please feel free to share this flyer with anyone you think would be interested in attending!
Mindfulness for Military Teens Webinar Tuesday, April 13th!
April 13 @ 6:00 pm: The Original You - Thriving, Not Surviving, Part 1: Introduction to Teenage Mindfulness
Presented by the Cohen Military Family Clinic at Alaska Behavioral Health 
Military teens are high-risk for feelings of isolation, depression and anxiety – with frequent moves, school transitions and worry about deployed parents – all on top of the regular teenage stress in a rapidly changing world. This webinar will teach teens ages 12-17 about the effect of trauma and chronic stress on the brain through a hands-on art project (materials provided) and teach skills for mindfulness activities that promote greater connection between thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations. This webinar is the first of four presented as part of the Cohen Clinic’s partnership with the Hollister Confidence Project to address youth mental health.
Support Military Kids
April is the Month of the Military Child
The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Alaska Behavioral Health is all about supporting military kids and families every day - and they're putting it on full display this month as part of Cohen Veterans Network's  national celebration of the Month of the Military Child! Here's how you can join them:
New Opportunities for Peer Support
Peer Support is Growing!

Peer Support Professionals are individuals who identify as in recovery from mental illness, addiction, or trauma. They bring a unique perspective to recovery and helping others, drawing from their own personal journeys.

Alaska Behavioral Health continues to offer trainings for those interested in becoming peer support workers. Training dates are scheduled throughout the year, as either weeklong, evening, or Saturday only classes. More info here.

Now, our peer support staff is offering open sessions for mental health consumers to connect with peers in similar situations to build community and process life struggles. Sessions start April 20 - scan the QR code to the left or click here to register/log in!