The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees has directed more than $800,000 in Trust grant funding to Alaska Behavioral Health (AKBH) for continued support of the Fairbanks Mobile Crisis Team (MCT) serving individuals in a behavioral health crisis. The Trust also supported the launch of Fairbanks’ MCT, which began operations in November 2021.
This grant is a part of the Trust’s work, in concert with the state and many community partners, to enhance our current system responding to those in crisis and to provide new and needed crisis stabilization services in Alaska using the Crisis Now model as a framework. Crisis Now is a continuum of services that are working in many communities across the nation to improve mental health crisis response, prevent suicide, and to reduce the reliance on law enforcement, emergency rooms, and jails when responding to crises. The components of the model include a crisis call center, mobile crisis teams, and crisis stabilization centers.
This grant to AKBH will support staffing for the Fairbanks MCTs that deploy a behavioral health clinician and peer support specialist to respond in-person to individuals in crisis. During its first year of operation, the Fairbanks MCT was able to keep an average of 80% of individuals in crisis in the community instead of moving to a higher level of care and/or interacting with the criminal justice system. Trust grant funding will also support the ongoing coordination with local government, emergency services, law enforcement and community healthcare stakeholders that is helping ensure successful MCT operations.
“Since its launch a year ago, we’ve seen great success with the Fairbanks Mobile Crisis Team, and we are very grateful for the many partners in Fairbanks, from the City, to law enforcement to providers including AKBH, who are making this success possible,” said Steve Williams, Trust CEO. “This grant will support the ongoing deployment of a clinician/peer support professional mobile crisis team to help individuals in crisis stabilize in the community instead of in a more acute care setting like an emergency room or jail.”
“We’ve been pleased to make a difference for Fairbanks residents in crisis through operating Alaska’s first mobile crisis teams,” said Sarah Koogle, AKBH Fairbanks Clinic Manager. “We are grateful for the Trust’s support to continue this work, which is improving outcomes for individuals in crisis.”
This grant award is a part of the Trust’s approximately $20 million annual grants program. Grants are awarded to organizations that represent one or more Trust beneficiary groups and whose priorities are consistent with the Trust’s. To learn more about Trust grant programs, including how an organization can apply, visit: https://alaskamentalhealthtrust.org/about/grants/.
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