Tag: Solutions Desk wellness

Envisioning recovery and rebuilding a life in Noatak

Karen Mitchell is the Behavioral Health Aide in Noatak, a small village in the Northwest Arctic. Twenty-five years ago, as she stared out the window of her home there, such a future seemed impossible.

How little organizations make a big difference through collaboration

Solving community problems can be hard, unless you tap into the power of collaboration. This is how Chickaloon does it.

Community health aides: Alaska’s unique solution for rural health care

Fifty years ago, Alaska had a really big problem: it was hard to get medical care in small, rural communities. To solve it, the Indian Health Service worked with local governments and Congress to create the Community Health Aide Program. And it's still making communities healthier.

Kunniak’s Spices brings new flavors to Native dishes

One way to make money in a slow economy is to fill a gap in the market. But a local spice blend company is doing more than building bank accounts--it's also connecting people with Native dishes in a new way. Kunniak's Spices pairs flavors like lemon, garlic and ghost pepper with Alaska Native dishes like Maktak.

Guiding peers on the path to recovery from addiction

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.

Can a liquor store help a community solve alcohol-related problems?

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.

Building resilience through basketballs and berries

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.

Changing the mindset of the healthcare system

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.

Achieving wellness through Medicaid expansion

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. 

What it takes to respond to a mental health crisis

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.

Mixing science with traditional knowledge, researchers hope to get seal oil on the menu

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.

To feed elders, traditional foods take untraditional route

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.

Preventing problems with exercise for elders

Many parts of Alaska lack enough accessible care for older people. It's a problem without a solution. But there are ways to prevent the problem in the first place. Exercise for elders.