Diverse group of five highschool-aged friends

School-Based Mental Health

Providing mental health and wellness support to students, staff, and families.

VOA Alaska’s School-Based Services offers students professional mental health supports to help them reduce stressors at school and at home.

Our team empowers students to build self-confidence, resiliency, and social competency that enhance their capacity for academic success—all directly within their school!

To connect your student with VOA’s school-based services, please contact your Anchorage School District school counselor to begin the referral process or contact VOA directly at (907) 279-9640.

If school-based services aren’t the right option for your student, VOA Alaska has additional resources and support services available for your family.

Person sitting at small table, with toys surrounding them and posters relating to emotions.
Rachael Eliason, VOA Alaska School-Based Clinician, in her office at Russian Jack Elementary School.

VOA Alaska's clinicians are located in 11 schools across the Anchorage School District.

Providence Alaska serves three additional Anchorage schools through our partnership.

Who is eligible?

  • Students struggling to get through the school day or showing a decrease in grades or attendance without a known cause. 
  • Students having difficulty coping with their emotions and/or stress or have experienced a past or current significant trauma or life stressor.
  • Students who want additional support and connection with a caring, trusting adult.
  • Students who feel isolated and want to improve their connection to their peers and develop healthy relationship skills.

How does this work with the school?

We have the flexibility to meet students during school hours, as well as before and after, whatever makes the most sense for the youth and school.  

We do our best to limit our disruption of the student’s learning by collaborating with school staff to find the best schedule for providing support.

We work closely with school staff to provide holistic support for students.

"Having a therapist who is at the school and part of the culture is the best thing for our school.”

Expanding Access to Behavioral Health

VOA Alaska, in partnership with Providence Alaska and the Anchorage School District, has the following goals for our coordinated effort to expand existing school-based services and further integrate with ASD academic culture. In doing so, we will promote earlier behavioral health intervention, support, and services, resulting in an improvement of overall well-being for those we have been called to serve.

Together we will:

  1. Provide behavioral health services and supports to referred students and their families
  2. Provide navigation and support for referring youth and their families to valuable community-based resources for long-term care through involvement and participation in ASD’s Crisis Response Team.
  3. Provide district-wide referral pathway for support and behavioral health consultation services.
  4. Provide training and behavioral health support to students, families, educators, and school staff.

Guiding Principals

Trauma Informed. A trauma informed approach is used to guide policy, program development, and practice.

Climate of Well-Being. All stakeholders are unified by shared goals, with mental health and academic progress valued equally. School climate is supportive of integrated behavioral health services, which are seen as a critical and integral part of reaching academic and wellness goals.

Best Practice. Implemented strategies are evidenced-based and built on best practices that have proven to support children’s success at school. Consistent clinical models will be used across schools to allow for replication and scalability.

Integration. Behavioral health and wellness is integrated into the school climate, not seen as a separate scope, and is supported through building a collaborative partnership between school personnel and service providers.

Community Collaboration. All stakeholders cultivate and encourage collaboration with community members and partners to provide additional services as part of a coordinated service delivery system.

Identify Conflict and Seek Solutions. Partners promote an environment which seeks to find solutions for barriers and points of conflict. Partners agree to positively navigate relationships with the aim of resolving conflict when it occurs.

This effort is supported through our partnership with Providence Alaska and the Anchorage School District.
This program is supported by grants from the Municipality of Anchorage, United Way of Anchorage, and ConocoPhillips Alaska.

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