Comprehensive Mental Health Plan for Alaska Finalized

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), in partnership with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (Trust), has finalized Strengthening the System: Alaska’s Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Program Plan. This five-year plan assists with guiding resources to the services, workforce and facilities necessary to meet the needs of Trust beneficiaries. 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.


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Strengthening the System is intended to support planners and service providers statewide as they work to apply resources and talent to improve the lives of Trust beneficiaries. The plan defines nine goals, each with corresponding objectives and strategies, to create a comprehensive health care system that provides a full continuum of prevention, treatment and support services in Alaska.

“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,” said DHSS Commissioner Adam Crum. “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 plan was developed through a comprehensive stakeholder-driven process that included DHSS, the Trust and its advisory boards, and key stakeholders, as well as incorporating public feedback. It 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 Plan to read the complete plan, download the individual goals or access resources and public comments.

This press release was provided by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.