Mental and Behavioral Health Workforce Capacity Needs

A session at the 2018 Alaska Public Health Association Health Summit hosted by USARC’s Arctic Mental Health Working Group (AMHWG)

Captain Cook Hotel
Thursday, January 18, 2017 11:15-12:15

The 2016 Alaska Behavioral Health Systems Assessment Report estimated that 145,790 adult Alaskans – roughly 20% of the state’s population - need behavioral health services. Despite the estimated need for mental health care in Alaska, the ratio of mental health providers to population is low compared to national levels. Additionally, most behavioral health professionals work in urban areas, such that the remote areas of the state have even lower provider/population ratios. Understanding the magnitude, composition and geographic scope of the mental health provider shortage in Alaska is seen as a first step in developing effective and targeted solutions to increase workforce capacity. In this session, we will discuss research needs to address the workforce capacity shortage, the impact of integrating mental health care with primary care on provider need and training, and how programs are beginning to address the need for more mental health professionals in Alaska.


Dr. Cheryl Rosa – US Arctic Research Commission

Dr. Seth Green - Norton Sound Health Corporation

Dr. Cody Chipp - Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association