Youth Behavioral Health

VOA Alaska believes in the power of human connection, and we are guided by our values to support the youth who engage in our services.

We believe in a holistic approach to addressing an array of complex issues that cause suffering to Alaska’s youth, this can include: Trauma, anger management, oppositional behaviors, anxiety, depression, and substance misuse. VOA Alaska’s array of services are designed to meet youth and their families where they are at and support them through the continuum to ensure the right service is provided at the right time.

VOA Alaska’s priority admission criteria includes those who are pregnant, injecting substances, pregnant and injections substances, involved in Office of Children Services or Division of Juvenile Justice or youth experiencing homelessness.

Our treatment programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF) and are approved by the State of Alaska’s Division of Behavioral Health. ARCH is licensed by the Division of Family and Youth Services.

FOR NEW CLIENTS

All new clients must review the Behavioral Health Programs Handbook and complete the New Client Packet.

Please submit the completed New Client Packet with the submission form below, by email to forms@voaak.org, or by fax to 907-276-5489.

To submit a completed packet, please enter your email and phone, then select Choose File to upload your finished form. Click Send to complete the process.

VOA Alaska's Outpatient Program

Outpatient Substance Use

VOA Alaska’s Outpatient Program (OP) consists of less than 6 hours of substance use treatment tailored to each client’s level of clinical severity and function, and is designed to help the client achieve changes in his/her alcohol and other drug use or addictive behaviors. 

The program is approximately 12 weeks in length. Treatment addresses major lifestyle, attitudinal and behavioral issues that have the potential to undermine the goals of treatment and/or impair the individual’s ability to cope with major life tasks without the addictive use of alcohol or illicit substances. This level of care also supports VOA Alaska’s Continuing Care Program (CC) that is utilized for individuals to provide a decrease of services while increasing supports in the community that includes ongoing monitoring, support and modification of their individualized relapse prevention plans as they endure new experiences on their journey in recovery.

Intensive Outpatient for Substance Use

The intensive outpatient program (IOP) provides a structured treatment experience for youth with substance use disorders and/or co-occurring disorders who require substantial structure and frequent counseling in order to maintain abstinence and success in the community. The intensive outpatient program is variable in duration and intensity dependent on individual client needs and progress, approximate length of stay is 16 weeks. 

Intensive outpatient consists at a minimum of six or more contact hours per week and utilizes the Matrix model to deliver services in accordance with evidence-based practices. There are a variety of group therapy sessions offered at this level, including: relapse prevention, living in balance, emotional regulation, healthy relationships, seeking safety, 12 step facilitation, early recovery skills, and a family psychoeducation group. Individual sessions with the CDC Counselor and/or Mental Health Clinician vary depending on the youth’s specific needs and intensity of services needed.

Transitions Division

This division is led by a Lead Transition Facilitator who is trained in TIP (Transition to Independence Process, an evidence-based model). This division includes a Family Support Coordinator, Case Manager, and Peer Support Specialists. The Case Manager and Peer Support Specialists utilize the TIP model as the foundational structure of the services they provide. The Family Support Coordinator is a peer position for families to provide support and overall navigation assistance of needed resources. This division serves all VOA Alaska enrolled clients. 

TIP is a community-based model that serves transition aged youth 14–24 who are experiencing emotional, substance misuse and/or behavioral difficulties. TIP engages youth through various VOA services that are strength-based and youth driven. The TIP model has been infused throughout the treatment system resulting in services that are TIP informed. This model can also function as a stand-alone component that connects youth with a Transition Facilitator who prepares them for progression into adult roles with a focus on six different domains:

  1. Employment and career,
  2. Education,
  3. Living situation,
  4. Personal effectiveness/wellbeing,
  5. Community-life functioning, and
  6. Safety net of support. 

Services are provided in both the residential, outpatient programs and in the community as appropriate with contact hours and duration of services being dependent of the needs and goals of the youth.

Outpatient Mental Health

Outpatient mental health (OP MH) services are offered at VOA Alaska’s Cordova Street office or at the client’s home and are primarily community-based serving age ranges 12-24. These services also help provide onsite outreach and supportive services to transition aged youth at Covenant House and their Housing Navigation Center. In addition, they serve as the supporting clinician to those enrolled in SUD services who struggle with co-occurring disorders to ensure wrap around care.

Mental health and family services are an integral component of all VOA Outpatient programs. These services are delivered by a highly trained team of master’s level clinicians supervised by qualified and competent professionals and receive clinical supervision with a licensed psychologist. Individuals within any VOA Alaska program or referred from the community may receive individual therapy sessions focused on either the primary or co-occurring mental health disorder as determined by the assessment.

School-Based Mental Health

VOA Alaska’s School-Based Services consist of an integrated model of care with the Anchorage School District (ASD). Qualified, committed, and experienced clinicians are based in various ASD sites to meet the need directly where our youth attend school. This integrated model with the school district combines education efforts with behavioral health support to promote the wellness of the youth in the community.

Students have access to integrated assessments, drug and alcohol education, crisis intervention, individual and family therapy, and mental health and substance use counseling. Students are taught life and coping skills and feelings and behavior management skills to improve their ability to function within and outside of the school setting. Case management and care coordination are also provided to support the student and their family, as well as linking them to needed resources and positive social activities in their home community. This effort is supported through our partnership with Anchorage School District, Anchorage School Based Health Centers, and ASD Alternative Schools.

Family Support

VOA’s Family Support Coordinator (FSC) provides support to families at the onset of and throughout treatment. The FSC is a peer navigator whose purpose is to help families navigate through the treatment process, engage parental/caregiver support in the treatment and process, and create opportunities for pro-social involvement for individuals.

The FSC is can conduct a family needs assessment to identify supportive services and resources, which will help support the family unit and ensure wrap around services are provided to the youth and their families. The FSC facilitates a weekly parenting support group that is open to all past and present VOA Alaska families.

Adolescent Residential Center for Help

The Adolescent Residential Center for Help (ARCH) treatment program is for adolescents’ age 12-18 that are diagnosed with a substance use disorder and may also present with co- occurring mental health disorders. Length of stay is individualized based on the unique needs of each client in alignment with American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) dimensions and severity. ARCH allows youth to address their substance use and mental health needs in a structured, therapeutic environment where they are given a chance to learn and apply coping skills, examine their maladaptive behavior patterns and replace them with an effective daily program of recovery, improve upon and build healthier social and familial relationships, increase their readiness for change, practice relapse prevention, and address any issues that have contributed to their relapse cycle as they actively integrate back into their home community. 

ARCH is housed in a state-of-the-art facility in Eagle River, Alaska. The 16-bed facility provides on-site mental health and behavioral health services from a highly qualified clinical team, consulting psychiatrist and consulting psychologist. ARCH residents are provided 20 or more hours of therapeutic behavioral health services in a group setting per week and may receive additional clinic services to address any co-occurring mental health needs to include vocational skill training and milieu counseling. Meals are provided at no charge to residents. 

ARCH partners with the Anchorage School District to provide an on-site high school, McKinley Heights, which is managed by one Anchorage School District teacher and one teacher’s aide. Students are given individualized lessons with specialized services for learning disabled and developmentally delayed adolescents. The school and the ARCH treatment team are in close collaboration to ensure school and treatment are combined in the most beneficial way for our clients.

McKinley Heights is committed to promoting and protecting student’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by encouraging lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity. Read the full McKinley Heights School Wellness Policy here.

 

An outside view of the Adolescent Residential Center for Help
ARCH - VOA Alaska's youth residential treatment facility.