Anne Hillman, special to Alaska Public Media

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Anne Hillman covers mental health as part of a special solutions journalism project at Alaska Public Media. She also runs Mental Health Mosaics, a project of Out North that uses art, podcasts, poetry, and creativity to explore mental health and foster deeper conversations around the topic. Reach her at anne@outnorth.org.
A portrait of a woman outside

Asking the right questions can stop eating disorders from progressing, experts say

“One of the most important things is to identify an eating disorder early before you get the complications,” said Dr. Rachel Lescher.
Exterior image of the Anchorage Pioneer Home.

New facility aims to improve options for Alaskans with memory loss

https://youtu.be/bqE1Xk6h7e4 Caring for someone with memory loss can be exhausting both physically and emotionally. The number of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia in Alaska is set to almost double by 2030. Given the growing need,...
A woman with brown curly hair and a grey sweater sits at a table in a school counselor office with a high school student who is wearing a black hoodie and a glasses.

An alternative high school in Anchorage is focusing on mental health to help students graduate

Karen Hobart said her main goal as a school counselor is to help kids graduate, and that means looking at a lot more than just their grades or the number of credits they’ve earned. She also connects them to resources like food, safe transportation, or different types of mental health care. 
a person sits in a makeshift studio next to a mic in a bedroom

Recovering out loud: How one Alaskan created a podcast to support his sobriety and help others too

Through podcasting, music and story sharing, Ralph Sara is working to make people see that recovery from addiction is possible.
Young Black man smiles slightly while standing next to a blue sign that reads "Benny Benson Alternative High School Congratulations Graduates Class of 2022."

How to help people understand the complexity of mental health

An Anchorage teenager made major shifts in his approach to life and is about to graduate high school. He never saw a therapist, never thought about mental health. But mental health is tied to all of it.

People harm themselves to cope with big emotions. You can help them heal.

Self-harm is a coping mechanism and a call for help. It can also be extremely hard to talk about.
two people showing a gift in an office

At this mental health drop-in center in Fairbanks, members say ‘you can just be you’

The Northern Hope Center is a free, member-driven drop-in center for adults with serious mental illnesses that gives people a social safety net free from judgment.
A group of people pose for a photo outside.

A new crisis team in Fairbanks is responding to mental health calls and freeing up other emergency resources

The city’s Mobile Crisis Team started two months ago and is bringing mental health services directly to people in crisis.
A woman with blonde hair in a black sweatshirt.

‘So much hope’: Alaskans say peer support can make recovery possible

Peer mentors can now receive certification in Alaska to provide support for people in recovery from substance use and mental health issues.
two staff from CITC lead a class on suicide intervention as a student takes notes

Thousands of Alaskans are considering suicide. You can learn to help them choose life.

Thousands of Alaskans seriously consider suicide every year. Learning to talk directly about it can help people intervene and stop someone from trying.