Tag: Solutions Desk

Drawing on historical strengths to prevent problems in the future

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.

Kiana youth turn boring meetings into lifelong skills

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.

After a tragedy, a Yup’ik dance group in Hooper Bay keeps dancing

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.

To prevent suicide, little words can make a big difference

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

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. 

Preventing suicide with strength and resilience

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

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.

Dion isn’t homeless. This is why it matters.

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.

In some cases, houses of worship step in to help people keep their homes

Thousands of Alaskans seek rental assistance every year. Sometimes, preventing homelessness requires an act of faith.

When homelessness is around the corner, even the helpers can become helpless

Dion Wynne was working full-time and preparing to open a therapeutic foster home. Then he fell ill and was hospitalized for over a month. Join him as he tries to save his home -- and his dreams.

When preschoolers meet Pioneers, both benefit

Loneliness and isolation can be a big problem for seniors in Alaska. Many older people are often far away from family members, and kids are far away from their grandparents. In Sitka, the local Pioneer Home for seniors has found a solution for both problems: housing a local preschool right next door.

Modifying houses so seniors can stay in their homes

The Clements raised their grandchildren in their cozy Alaska home, but Shirley's health problems were making it difficult to keep living there. Until now.

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.

Alaskans are aging in Alaska, so now what?

In the 1970s and early 80s people flooded Alaska looking for work in the oil industry and other fields. Now, 40 years later, many are still here. Instead of fleeing to warmer weather, Alaskans are aging in Alaska. For the past seven years, we’ve had the fastest growing senior population in the country. With it comes wisdom, economic growth, and a different set of needs. Can our state handle it?

To teach about racism, start with the basics

Confronting racism and discrimination can be hard. The solution? Start learning techniques when you are young. In parts of Anchorage, some of the teachers of these difficult lessons are other young people, but they start with the basics.

Alaska DOC commissioner wants to stop easy access of illegal drugs in prisons

Dean Williams, the commissioner of the Department of Corrections, acknowledges it's easy to access illegal drugs in prison in Alaska. He says his department is trying to stop it.