Youth Behavioral Health
Each year, VOA Alaska provides inpatient and outpatient treatment services to over 175 youth and their families.
Our programs offer chemically dependent adolescents the skills needed to eliminate their reliance on drugs and alcohol and the tools necessary to build and maintain strong, healthy futures.
Referrals are carefully reviewed by an intake coordinator and each youth is placed in an appropriate level of care depending on his or her individual needs. Placement is determined by the criteria developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Those who are pregnant, injecting substances, pregnant and injecting substances, involved in Office of Children Services and/or Division of Juvenile Justice are considered priority.
VOA Alaska views chemical dependency as an illness impacting the physical, emotional and spiritual lives of more than just the patient. Family involvement, with a strong emphasis on developing support systems and continuing care, is encouraged throughout treatment.
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.
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Outpatient Services | ASSIST
ASSIST offers outpatient, intensive outpatient, and continuing care, as well as an individualized model for those with unique needs. One of our major components is trauma-informed and trauma-competent care offered through individual and family counseling.
Individual and family therapy services are available online via Zoom and in-person in Anchorage. Services are available for youth ages 12 – 24. ASSIST program services are delivered at our main office in Anchorage (2600 Cordova Street, Suite 101), as well as at community sites such as Covenant House Partnership, Birchwood Behavioral Health Partnership, and the Anchorage School-Based Health Centers Partnership and other Anchorage School District schools.
Supportive services include case management, the Transition to Independence Process (TIP), and Family support. Counseling services are available for (but not limited to) physical or sexual abuse, substance use disorders, anger management, anxiety, assessment and referral, attention deficit disorder (ADD), cognitive behavioral therapy, community crisis stabilization, community psych support and treatment, co-occuring disorders, crisis intervention, day treatment, depression, dialectical behavioral therapy, disorders, evaluation and assessment, family peer support services (FPSS), family therapy, group therapy, health and behavior assessment and intervention, mobile mental health treatment, mood disorder, positive behavioral interventions and supports, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and serious mental illness, multi-systematic therapy, sexual abuse evaluation, tele-health, trauma informed care, trauma therapy, and youth support.
ASSIST is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF) and is approved by the State of Alaska Division of Behavioral Health.
Medicaid and most insurances are accepted. Fees are adjusted on a sliding scale for those unable to pay.
For referrals, please call VOA Alaska’s main line: (907) 279-9640.
VOA Alaska’s outpatient program provides education and intervention to youth in the early stages of addiction. 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.
The 12-week program consists of 2 to 3 hours of treatment per week in the form of group, family, and individual counseling when necessary
VOA Alaska’s intensive-outpatient program provides increased structure and more frequent contact to help youth recover from chemical dependency. Groups and individual sessions are designed to increase the awareness of the youth’s substance use disorder and its impact, increase the youth’s motivation for change, increase interpersonal communication and coping skills, reduce mental health symptoms, reduce destructive behavior and increase the ability to identify, express and manage feelings appropriately. All clients are strongly encouraged to attend Alcoholics Anonymous, or similar programs, as part of their treatment plan.
The 12-week program consists of 10 to 12 hours of treatment per week in the form of group, family, and individual counseling. Family support and education is also provided in weekly, multi-family group sessions.
This program uses the Transition to Independence Process evidence-based model to provide counseling, support, and overall navigation assistance of needed resources. The Transitions team serves all VOA Alaska enrolled youth between the ages of 14 and 20 years old
School-Based Mental Health
VOA Alaska provides outpatient mental health services to students within several schools in the Anchorage School District. Students visiting our clinicians report feeling better about themselves, are able to better identify and manage their feelings, have better problem-solving skills, and improved relationships with family and peers. Parents of participating students have reported seeing improvements in the home and feel the support has helped their student’s academic performance.
VOA’s mental health clinicians are an integral part of the school climate in which they are based and improve the overall health and wellness of the overall school population. Seeking and receiving help is one less source of stress for these students and their families.
Our clinicians currently provide mental health services within four schools: Begich Middle School, Barlett High School, East High School, and Benny Benson.
Recognizing the rising need for mental health services and supports for youth, we have partnered with Providence to grow to meet the need and will soon provide services in 16 Anchorage School District schools.
Inpatient Services | ARCH
Adolescent Residential Center for Help (ARCH) is an intensive, residential treatment program for chemical dependency and co-occurring disorders. Located in Eagle River, the facility houses 24 residents ages 13 through 18. Length of stay is dependent on the progress of the individual served.
- Psychological services
- Group, individual and family counseling
- On-site educational services through the Anchorage School District
- Nutritional programs and information
- Meals at no charge to the clients
- Wellness education, such as milieu therapy and sober living practices
ARCH believes in supporting the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of each client. McKinley Heights School, ARCH’s educational program, 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.
ARCH is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF). ARCH is approved by the Division of Behavioral Health and is licensed through the Alaska Division of Public Health.
Medicaid and most insurances are accepted. Fees are adjusted on a sliding scale for those who are unable to pay.
For referrals, please call VOA Alaska’s main line: (907) 279-9640.
Transition to Independence
Transition to Independence (TIP) is a community-based model that serves transition youth ages 14-24 who are experiencing emotional and/or behavioral difficulties.
TIP engages youth through services that are strength-based and youth-driven.
The TIP model also connects youth with a Transition Facilitator who prepares them for progression into adult roles with a focus on five different domains:
- Employment and career
- Living situation
- Personal effectiveness/wellbeing
- Community-life functioning
Eligibility and Criteria:
- Youth must be between the ages of 14-24
- Youth must have serious emotional disturbance and/or substance use disorder
- Youth must reside in Anchorage or the Mat-Su Borough area
Call the main Volunteers of America Alaska number at (907) 279-9640 to schedule an assessment. Indicate you are making a referral for the Transition to Independence Program. Our current practice is to complete a full assessment and generate an acceptance letter.