Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media
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After being told innumerable times that maybe she asked too many questions, Anne Hillman decided to pursue a career in journalism. She's reported from around Alaska since 2007 and briefly worked as a community radio journalism trainer in rural South Sudan. ahillman (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8447  |  About Anne

Alaska's foster care system has problems. Caseworkers don't stick around for long. It can take years for young people to find permanent homes or be reunited with their families. But new legislation could provide solutions that will help everyone involved with the system.

When rural Alaska makes the headlines, the focus is often on things like suicide rates, alcohol use, and trauma. But one project in southwest Alaska shifts attention to strengths instead. Qungasvik was developed by Yup'ik people, for Yup'ik people and is proving to be an effective way to help youth in parts of southwest Alaska thrive.

Some people stay at Fairbanks Correctional Center for a few days. Others are at the pre-trial facility for years. Most of the inmates are living their lives in limbo — awaiting their trials and their futures. During Community in Unity: Life in Limbo, inmates, correctional center staff, and other community members sit together for an open conversation about the justice system, day-to-day life at FCC, and what's happening on the outside to help people who are released.

Young people make all of the decisions to put together a multi-day conference in Kiana. Though some of the meetings for OPT In Kiana may not seem fun, they have lifelong effects on the young people and their abilities to face challenges.

Adoption involves more than connecting children and parents -- is about navigating new relationships between families. On the next Talk of Alaska we'll speak with birth moms and adoptive moms about their experiences with adoption, how its changed over time and misconceptions about the process. LISTEN HERE

Yup'ik dancing has helped people connect and heal for centuries. It can't prevent all tragedies, but this Hooper Bay group shows that it can help.

When thinking about suicide, sometimes just a few words of reassurance can make a huge difference. Here's one man's story.

This week we're hearing from Harold Goode in Kotzebue. Goode is a chef at Maniilaq long-term care facility. When he moved to the region a year ago he had to learn to cook in a very different way. Listen now

What makes a healthy community? What makes young people in an Alaska village thrive? Here's the formula that's working well for Noatak, in the Northwest Arctic.

For most healthcare systems, mental health and physical health are two separate issues. Not at one of the largest healthcare providers in Alaska, where doctors and behavioral health consultants work together with a new mindset.

Andi Riley needed medical help, but even though she was working, she couldn't afford it. Until there was Medicaid expansion. It was her solution for wellness. 

Suicide rates for Alaska Native youth are still high -- but groups are actively working to change that. Community members and researchers are focusing on the strengths of Alaska Native peoples and cultures to reduce the risk and promote wellness. Listen now

If someone breaks their arm or twists an ankle, we generally know what to do – brace it and get help. But what if someone is hurting mentally instead of physically? A bandage won’t help, but a Mental Health First Aid class will.

Alaska is still in recession- and the state's economic engine is significantly smaller than it was three years ago. But job losses have slowed.  So is there an end in sight for the first state recession in three decades? And what will it take to stage a real recovery? LISTEN HERE

This week we're hearing from Richard Hensley in Kotzebue. Hensley lives in an assisted living facility now, but used to live with his sister and brother-in-law. Listen now

The traditional foods movement in Alaska is growing. Moose and caribou are appearing on menus at healthcare facilities across the state. But there's an important food that still needs approval -- seal oil. A long-sought solution is in the works.

Politicians on both sides say we need to tap into the Permanent Fund in order to close the state's multi-billion dollar budget gap. But how would that draw on the $66 billion dollar fund be structured? And how might it affect the longevity of the state's largest investment account? LISTEN HERE

Traditional foods are healthier, but for a long time, federal regulations prevented elders in care facilities from accessing them. A team in Kotzebue worked to change that. Here's how.

Thousands of Alaskans have been homeless, but the number would be much higher if organizations and individuals didn't work to prevent it. On the next Talk of Alaska we're discussing solutions for preventing homelessness, and why it affects everyone in the state, not just the families who experience it. LISTEN HERE

Dion Wynne was hospitalized and couldn't work, but received enough help to keep his housing. His success isn't just important for his family -- it helps everyone. Now advocates are working to make the homeless prevention system less cumbersome.