Chugachmiut’s Behavioral Health Department provides counseling services for individuals, families and couples. We offer a spectrum of support combining the best traditional Native healing practices with the western model of psychological assistance. Help is offered in the villages, remote sites and in rural communities of the extended region. The village-based services provided are considered the backbone of our department.
Itinerant staff members travel to the villages from Anchorage, ideally twice per month, weather permitting. The itinerant staff sees clients for both mental health and substance abuse issues. Some clients prefer outside counselors due to relationships with the village staff. Counselors meet with scheduled clients, give community-wide or school presentations, meet with Elders in their homes or at gatherings, deal with emergencies, and meet with and help the kids in the schools with behavioral health issues (or even homework, if the teachers desire).
In two of the four villages within the region, Chugachmiut has Behavioral Health Practitioners (BHP), the highest level of certification possible through the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. They are trained and graduated in aspects of wide-spectrum behavioral health issues through the Rural Human Services Program. Our long-term BHP counselors, each with at least eight years of service to Chugachmiut, receive ongoing training in counseling skills. They all have daily work schedules that reflect the interests and needs of their respective communities.