Comprehensive Mental Health Plan
Comprehensive mental health plan
The purpose of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority is to ensure an integrated comprehensive mental health program for Trust beneficiaries. The Trust is committed to the development of a Long-Term Comprehensive Mental Health Plan and is working with the state and partner organizations to put a framework in place. The plan will be a living document forming the foundation needed to guide services and funding into the future.
Today, the integrated comprehensive mental health program is at a unique juncture in its history, where, despite the state’s fiscal challenges, reform efforts have the potential to bring about tremendous positive changes to the system of care with many anticipated benefits for beneficiaries. In FY 2017, we saw DHSS and stakeholders from across the system coming together to advance health care reform and Medicaid redesign. We saw a parallel process unfolding with criminal justice reform. The Trust is committed to continuing to support the many efforts underway to plan for and manage a truly integrated and comprehensive program that improves the lives of Trust beneficiaries.
The most recent version of the plan is the work of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and other state agencies, boards and commissions. The plan looks at the status of Trust beneficiaries in four areas health, safety, quality of life and economic security. Planning efforts are underway to develop a new plan as this plan hasn’t been updated since April of 2011.
As part of monitoring the Comprehensive Mental Health Program, the Trust has worked with the Department of Health & Social Services to monitor key issues impacting Alaska Mental Health Trust Beneficiaries. It focuses on selected indicators that disproportionately impact beneficiaries (or potential beneficiaries) of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. The scorecard includes data and information on 23 indicators and 5 conditions relevant to beneficiaries as well as prevalence estimates for the beneficiary population. The Scorecard employs standard criteria to report whether an indicator is marked as “satisfactory,” “uncertain,” or “needs improvement.”
The Scorecard was researched and produced by a group of leaders and planners representing the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and related state agencies, boards and commissions. Tracking the same indicators each year enables the Trust to track outcomes over time. It is a valuable tool used by Alaskans that compares the most current Alaska data to the most current U.S. data. in the areas of health, safety, living with dignity, economic security.
Between 2016 and 2017 the status of 17 of the 22 indicators remained the same; one improved from “needs improvement” to “uncertain,” one improved from “needs improvement” to “uncertain,” one improved from “uncertain” to “satisfactory,” one moved down from “satisfactory” to uncertain,” and two moved from “uncertain” to “needs improvement.” A new indicator was added in 2017 in response to the growing focus on the opioid epidemic in Alaska. The new indicator looked at opioid overdose related deaths; Alaska is higher than the U.S. national rate which “needs improvement”. In the areas of suicide, substance abuse, and affordable housing advanced efforts and resources are essential in order to have a meaningful impact on moving the indicators to satisfactory. Continued efforts are needed in all other areas to ensure the indicator status doesn’t get any worse. However, additional resources should be availed to facilitate moving the trend towards satisfactory in all areas rather than maintaining the status quo of “uncertain”.