‘Strengthening the System’ comprehensive mental health plan for Alaska finalized

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority have finalized a five year plan that assists with helping to guide resources to services, workforce and facilities for trust beneficiaries.

The "Alaska Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program Plan" is intended to support planners and service providers statewide. Trust beneficiaries include Alaskans who experience mental illness, developmental and intellectual disabilities, chronic alcoholism and drug dependence, traumatic brain injuries, or Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.

DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum said in a press release “I'm pleased that the 2020-24 plan has a strong focus on prevention and early intervention, including these types of activities as part of our goals ensures that we promote resiliency in Alaskans which can reduce their risks of developing serious health problems over the course of their lifetime. It also allows us to identify and provide help earlier to children who experience trauma, which is shown to decrease threats to their health throughout their lifespan.”

“This plan recognizes and addresses the known gaps in our behavioral health system,” stated Mary Jane Michael, Board Chair, Alaska Mental Health Trust. “By identifying common goals, we can collectively work towards a system that provides beneficiaries with the care necessary to live full lives in their home communities.”

The five year plan will be assessed annually, incorporating the results of the Alaska Scorecard to monitor progress and its impacts.

Along with the report, DHSS has launched a webpage devoted to the plan that includes complementary resources. Visit Alaska’s Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Planto read the complete plan, download the individual goals or access resources and public comments.