Gardening for Growth
With COVID-19 precautions limiting indoor groups and sessions, our clinical staff took advantage of the summer weather and moved things outside. Now that it's harvest time, we're seeing the sweet results.

In Fairbanks, the Child & Family clinic established a small garden, with big results - check out those peppers and tomatoes! Clinical Associate Michele Vangelas says clients really benefited from their time spent planting, tending and harvesting in the garden.

In Anchorage, Alaska Seeds of Change staff worked with students from Steller Secondary School to revitalize the school gardens. The gardens were also the perfect spot to hold an outdoor group for transition age youth, focused on developing skills around mindfulness and relaxation - and general mental health education.

With so many activities going virtual, being able to meet in person outside has provided much needed connections - to the earth, our food, and each other.
CARES Act funding will help us keep it going through the winter!
We may not be growing outdoors, but we are very excited to be able to keep some in-person groups going though the winter, with help from Alaska's Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund, administered by the Alaska Community Foundation.

Our facilities do not include spaces large enough to meet in groups and maintain safe social distancing. The CARES Act funding will help us rent gym space this winter so that we can keep meeting in-person and maintain those connections.
Expanding the POWER Center
Since mid-March, the POWER Center has had to limit capacity in its small space. The program never closed -- throughout Anchorage's "hunker down", the Center remained open as a safe place for homeless and at-risk youth to access food, a kitchen, hygiene products, and a frequently-cleaned bathroom. Center staff also provide connections to other community supports, and have proven to be an important resource for Coronavirus education for young people who don't consume much traditional media.

But some days, people are turned away to limit the number of people in the small space at once.

Now with funding support from the Coronavirus Nonprofit Relief Fund, the Rasmuson Foundation, Premera Foundation, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, we will be purchasing a building near by and moving the drop-in center to a larger location. This will allow us to immediately serve more young people. Over time, we'll add showers, therapy rooms, a computer lab, and group spaces to increase the services available on-site to transition age youth and other vulnerable Alaskans.

We're so thankful for the support to move this project along quickly!
School-based clinic programs -
We're Hiring!
Before COVID-19 shut schools down last spring, the state Department of Education and Early Development, school administrators and mental health professionals were working to make mental health services more accessible to students in schools. The AK RISES pilot project in Fairbanks is bringing services to 4 schools in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and we are partnering with two elementary schools in Anchorage to provide supports for students.

With schools starting the fall term on-line, our staff (like everyone else!) is adapting, and still taking referrals from schools to connect families with the help they need to be successful in school and in life.

We still have open positions for clinicians for our school-based programs: learn more!
Intern Spotlight: Hailey Robertson
Congratulations to Child & Family Intern Hailey Robertson! Hailey was recently selected for the National Board of Certified Counselors - Minority Fellowship Program. As a fellow, she will receive funding and training aimed at reducing health outcome disparities for racially and ethnically diverse populations. The fellowship will help her gain personal competence to become a culturally-aware counselor and learn advocacy skills to be an agent of change for under-served populations in the state of Alaska.

Hailey has been an intern at AKBH since May and has been impressed with the support and training opportunities she’s had access to, and the way everyone has worked to maintain collaboration during a pandemic. She’s been honored to work with clients and hold their stories – and has really enjoyed collaborating and building those connections.

Hailey was born and raised in Alaska and plans to work in Alaska after graduation. We’re proud to have Hailey working with us through the school year!
CVN Clinic News
The Steven a Cohen Military Family Clinic at Alaska Behavioral Health his holding it first Mental Health First Aid training this week! All slots were full and there was a great response from inside the organization and the community. Due to the overwhelming interest, we are excited to announce that we have our very own Mental Health First Aid trainer and will be offering this training in the future. Stay tuned!
Training Opportunities
Peer Support Training
Learn what it takes to be a Peer Support Specialist.

There are still a few more sessions of Peer Support Training coming up this fall in both Anchorage and Fairbanks! The class combines pre-work on your own with a 34 hour live training (which can be attended in person or via Zoom). and can be attended by Zoom.

Peer support is a growing field within mental health. Training participants will come away with the skills and qualifications to work as peer support specialists in Alaska. Learn more.
Trauma 101 Fall Schedule Posted
Trauma 101 training focuses on understanding how trauma impacts the body and the brain, how people adapt to trauma, and what we can do as providers, caregivers and community members to support recovery and resiliency. 

The Trauma 101 training is not a training on a specific type of intervention, but is focused on how we can use a better understanding of trauma to be trauma-informed.