Mission Statement

The joint mission of the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (ABADA) and the Alaska Mental Health Board (AMHB) is to advocate for programs and services that promote healthy, independent, productive Alaskans. AMHB/ABADA are statutorily charged with advising, planning, and coordinating behavioral health services and programs funded by the State of Alaska.

History

The Alaska State Legislature (AS 47.30.661) and Federal Public Law #99-660 established AMHB in 1987. The Alaska State Legislature (AS 44.29.100) and Executive Order #71 established ABADA the following year, in 1988. Before this action, the¬ advisory councils on alcoholism and drug abuse were separate under the “Review Board on Alcoholism” and the “Advisory Board on Drug Abuse.”

In 2005, as part of the state’s multi-year process to consolidate mental health and substance use efforts under the newly formed Division of Behavioral Health, the structure of AMHB and ABADA was changed to co-locate the Boards under one executive director and staff. The Boards maintain separate officers and elections, but operate under a joint executive committee, meet jointly in public meetings statewide, and carry out projects and advocacy efforts jointly.

In 2010, the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council (SSPC) was co-located under AMHB and ABADA’s executive director but maintains separate staff. While the SSPC does not meet concurrently with the Boards, members of both boards are represented on the council and offer presentations and updates to each respective board regularly.

What Does AMHB/ABADA Do?

  • Advocate for and with Alaskans with mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Assist in the evaluation of Alaska’s publicly funded behavioral health system.
  • Educate the public and policymakers about mental health and substance misuse.
  • Provide a public forum for the discussion of issues related to mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Advise, plan, and help coordinate with state and local governments, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and partner advisory boards, community organizations, and the public on issues related to mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Provide recommendations to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority concerning the Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Plan and the use of money in the mental health trust settlement income account.

How We Do Our Work

ABADA and AMHB meet regularly during the year to hear from state agencies, behavioral health providers and Alaskans with mental health and substance use disorders about the state funded behavioral health system. Board members engage with the Governor, Alaska State Legislature and state agencies to educate and advise on the needs of these Alaskans and the providers who serve them.

Staff work with Board members and other stakeholders on statewide planning and coordinating efforts including serving on statewide advisory councils, taskforces and coalitions, data collection and assessment, planning and program evaluation.

2022 AMHB-ABADA Priority Areas

  • Increase access to appropriate and person-centered substance use disorder and/or mental health treatment and supports, including withdrawal management.
  • Identify gaps and build the continuum of care for Alaskans with substance use and/or mental health concerns.
  • Increase and/or improve behavioral health services in rural communities.
  • Increase early childhood, early intervention, and prevention services and activities to reduce adverse childhood experiences, increase resiliency and prevent future mental health and substance misuse concerns.
  • Increase access to safe and person-centered psychiatric care in Alaska.
  • Reduce the stigma of living with substance use and/or mental health disorders.
  • Increase access to institutional and community supports for justice-involved Alaskans with behavioral health concerns.
  • Increase supportive employment services for Alaskans with mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Increase access to housing and housing supports for Alaskans with behavioral health concerns.
  • Encourage behavioral health and primary health care integration.
  • Reduce consumption and the harm caused by alcohol misuse.

Updated April 2022