May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
AKBH Board Members Speak out For Mental Health
In a May 2 opinion piece in the Anchorage Daily News, former state senator and AKBH Board Member Cathy Giessel wrote about the importance of helping kids dealing with trauma as early as possible - and encouraged all of us to step in to help when we see kids and families under stress.

"The pandemic placed focus on mental health and the realization of our need for each other. We recognize that needing help isn’t a reflection of something “wrong” but an accumulation of stressors...
Remember, any listening person can help a child or family. Any caring person can connect someone with the help needed to reduce stress, build resilience and establish a foundation for well-being."

Also on May 2, AKBH Board Member Traci Gatewood shared her story in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner. Gatewood is a Desert Storm veteran and wrote about her mental health struggles when she was deployed shortly after the birth of her daughter.
Back then, there were fewer resources and seeking help was less acceptable within the military community.

"Slowly but surely, the stigma is being reduced, and some resources that did not exist in the ’90s are available now to support military members, veterans, and their families... In 1991, when I desperately needed support, the Cohen Clinic did not exist. I am appreciative that when my child needed it in 2020, it was there."

Connecting Through Art: Now Live!
Our second annual Mental Health Awareness Month art show is now up! "Connecting Through Art" is on display at the Kaladi Brothers Coffee on Jewel Lake Road in Anchorage, at our Aspen Clinic location in Fairbanks, and virtually on our website.

We received submissions from a dozen artists in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and are so appreciative of them for sharing their talents and their stories with us. Many of the pieces are for sale, with all proceeds going directly to the artist. If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces, send an e-mail to and we'll connect you with the artist.

Many thanks to our show co-sponsors, NAMI Anchorage and Out North!
A Champion for Kids Mental Health
May 7 is Children's Mental Health Day, but it's business-as-usual for AKBH Clinician Patty Quinn: she spends every day focused on children, families, and their mental health. Patty works with some of our youngest clients in the Little Tykes program, using evidence-based practices like ARC, Child Parent Psychotherapy and filial therapy. With young kids, they all have one thing in common: much of the work is done through play. Hear more from Patty!
Upcoming Events!
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!
May 18: Interpersonal Effectiveness in the workplace, Presentation to Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, Hugh Leonard, PsyD.  Presentation @ 12:00.
May 21: Grow With Us outreach event, Cohen Military Family Clinic at Alaska Behavioral Health. Stop by to learn about gardening in Alaska, services at the clinic - and pick up some lunch!
 11 am to 1 pm
May 22: AKBH staff and Cohen Clinic staff will participate AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Walk in Fairbanks, 10:00 am at Lathrop High School.