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

The path to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction can be long, arduous, and isolating. Now people in the Mat-Su Valley have a new place to start the journey -- and guides to help them along the way.

Alcohol abuse is an issue throughout the country, even in areas where it's illegal. Banning alcohol doesn't always solve the problem, so should communities try swinging the other way and make it more available? Could opening a liquor store help a community, not harm it? The village of Kiana is finding out – and reviews are mixed.

At Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla, inmates can learn the basic concepts of welding using simulators, but until recently they haven't been allowed access to real welding machines. Listen now

A special audit finds that the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority violated multiple state statues by investing in commercial real estate and by "intentionally trying to avoid discussing board business in a public manner."

Emergency shelters are supposed to be supportive safe havens. But in Fairbanks, it was a little too supportive. So staff developed a new plan for pushing people out the door by helping them stand on their own feet.

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. LISTEN HERE

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