Sign In
Skip to content
Help us improve our website by providing your valuable feedback

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.


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.

2023 AMHB-ABADA Priority Focus Areas

  • Increase access to safe and patient-centered institutional and community supports including withdrawal management, psychiatric care and telehealth.
  • Identify gaps and areas to build the continuum of care for substance use and mental health conditions.
  • 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.
  • Reduce the stigma and negative feelings about substance misuse and mental health concerns.
  • Increase supportive employment services
  • Increase access to housing and housing supports
  • Behavioral health and primary health care integration.
  • Reduce harm caused by alcohol misuse.

Priority Populations of Concern

Our priority populations of concern are all Alaskans with Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders. We also strive to ensure adequate resources for typically under-supported and vulnerable Alaskans including:
  • Justice-Involved Trust Beneficiaries
  • Rural Alaskans
  • Alaskans experiencing homelessness
  • Youth and Families

Updated February 2023