ANCHORAGE, Alaska (February 6, 2023) – The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (Trust) board of trustees recently awarded $1,554,000 to Providence Alaska for a new Crisis Stabilization Center for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis in Anchorage.
Trust funds will support the ongoing planning, development, and implementation of a facility that will offer emergency behavioral health care including a 23- hour crisis stabilization receiving center, a short-term residential crisis stabilization program, as well as a behavioral health urgent care.
These new services, expected to launch in 2024, represent a significant step forward in work championed by the Trust, the State, and many community partners to transform how our system of care responds to individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis using the Crisis Now model as a framework. The three main components of the model include a crisis call center, mobile crisis teams, and crisis stabilization centers that are operated as part of an intentionally coordinated system and that offer “no wrong door” (no-to-low barrier) access for people in a behavioral health crisis.
Providence Crisis Stabilization Center and Behavioral Health Urgent care will provide innovative, trauma-informed care. Alaskans needing behavioral health treatment and support will have prompt access to stabilization, treatment, and discharge planning services in one location.
Understanding that neither a traditional emergency room setting, or a law enforcement response is designed to meet the unique needs of someone in a behavioral health crisis, this new service will help meet community need. Gaps in community-based crisis response and behavioral health services can lead to individuals waiting in hospitals, and on occasion jails, for hours to days pending the availability of an appropriate treatment setting.
“We are excited to help bring new and needed crisis stabilization services to the community and appreciate Providence Alaska’s leadership in helping grow our continuum of crisis care.” said Steve Williams, CEO of the Trust. “These improvements to our behavioral health crisis system will have real and positive impacts for beneficiaries of the Trust and would not be possible without partners at the State Departments of Health and Family & Community Services and in communities across Alaska.”
“As the state’s first full Crisis Stabilization Center, our goal is to support and benefit Alaskans seeking care, not only at our hospital but also at provider partners throughout Southcentral Alaska and beyond,” said Ella Goss, MSN, RN, chief executive officer of Providence Alaska. “The Crisis Stabilization Center is not just part of the vision of how we can better care for Alaskans, it also reflects on the shared values of all of our stakeholders who are coming together to make this possible.”
This project is also supported by contributions from Providence, and local, state, and federal government funds. To learn more about the Trust’s work with partners to improve psychiatric crisis care in Alaska and the Crisis Now model, visit: www.alaskamentalhealthtrust.org/crisisnow.