Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority invests $1.4 million in projects supporting beneficiaries across the state

(Photo: Barbara Jackson, Pixabay)

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Trust grants an average $25 million a year to Alaskan organizations serving Trust beneficiaries including tribal entities

News Release

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority awarded $1,465,297.50 in grants to beneficiary-serving organizations in the first quarter of the fiscal year.

On average, the Trust grants $25 million a year to Alaskan organizations that serve Trust beneficiaries including nonprofits, service providers, Tribal entities, and state and local government agencies. Trust grants support long-term systems change and/or innovative projects that build behavioral healthcare capacity and improve the lives and circumstances of Trust beneficiaries. Grants are awarded throughout the year.

“This quarter, Trust grant dollars are funding a variety of efforts, large and small, that will increase service capacity and access to care, support data and planning efforts, and help our industry professionals grow their skills and knowledge,” said Mike Abbott, CEO of the Trust. “We are happy to be able to invest in these efforts to support our beneficiaries and we look forward to supporting our partners as they advance their work.”

Many of the projects funded by the Trust will also receive funding from the philanthropic community, private donations, earned revenue, and other community support. The total value of the projects funded by the Trust this quarter represents close to $20 million.

Among the grants awarded in the first quarter of FY 2021:

Stone’s Throw Culinary Job Training Program, Fairbanks 

The Breadline, Inc., $50,000 

Breadline, Inc. manages Stone’s Throw, a culinary training program in Fairbanks that serves Trust beneficiaries experiencing behavioral health disorders, substance use disorders, and developmental disabilities. Stone’s Throw empowers participants with job training as well as culinary, food safety, and life skills training. 

COVID Response & Recovery Supports for Alaska Students 

Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), $100,000 

Trust grant funds will assist DEED in providing mental health supports to students of all ages, prioritizing rural and remote districts with limited mental health resources, through a new position within the department. Emerging data related to the COVID-19 pandemic indicates a need for student and family mental health supports and identifies schools as critical infrastructure for providing that support now and into the future. 

Alaska Prisoner Reentry Initiative: Reentry Coalition Capacity Development 

Fairbanks: Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living, $100,000 

Mat-Su: Valley Charities, Inc., $100,000 

Anchorage: NeighborWorks Alaska, $100,000 

Juneau: JAMHI Health & Wellness, Inc., $100,000 

One strategy for improving outcomes for Alaskans reentering society following incarceration is to foster “warm hand-offs” from correctional facilities to community-based services and supports. A key to strengthening these connections is the development and/or strengthening of reentry coalitions; particularly in communities with a correctional facility. Reentry coalitions are community-led and supported organizations, and a key part of the Trust’s effort to provide beneficiaries the opportunity for positive, successful reintegration into our communities. Trust funds will support ongoing operation and development of reentry coalitions in the named communities. 

Approximately 40% of Alaskans incarcerated each year are Trust beneficiaries. These Alaskans are at increased risk for involvement with the criminal justice system, both as victims and defendants, due to their disabilities and other factors such as lack of community treatment services and supports.

Below is a complete list of Trust grants awarded last quarter. You can learn more about the grants in the quarterly grant report posted online.

About the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority is a state corporation that administers the Mental Health Trust, a perpetual trust created to ensure that Alaska has a comprehensive mental health program to serve people who experience mental illness, developmental disabilities, chronic alcoholism and other substance related disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia and traumatic brain injury that results in permanent brain injury. The Trust operates much like a private foundation, using its resources to fund system change, demonstration projects, funding partnerships, technical assistance and Trust-initiated projects. The Trust is fully self-funded and is overseen by a seven-member board of trustees. 

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(Image: Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority)
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