Issue 8: Long Term Care
Goal: Long term care must be available for the small percentage of people with psychiatric disorders who are unable to live in their communities.
One of the trends in modern mental health services has been to "deinstitutionalize" those who frequently spent much of their lives in state mental institutions. However, we have failed to adequately provide for the needs of those whose severe illnesses make sustained community living impossible. For some time, numbers of people with long term treatment needs received services at Alaska Psychiatric Institute and at Harborview Development Center (HDC). HDC has been closed and the bed census at API reduced. Community residential placements have been found for many of those who received treatment at these institutions. Many people with long term treatment needs, absent the services, intensive rehabilitation, intensive supports and supervision they need, become homeless or involved with the criminal justice system. For those without these services, prison often becomes their long term institution. Humane care requires that we develop alternative long term care.
224. The Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities will work with mental health providers to identify opportunities to develop community long term care for people with psychiatric disorders.
225. The Division of Mental Health and Development Disabilities will work with other state agencies providing long term care to maximize and integrate long term care services. Explore mechanisms for longer term funding for rehabilitation and intensive services through community mental health centers.
Responsible party (actions 1-2): Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
226. The Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and Alaska Mental Health Board will research this subject to determine best models and approaches that have been used nationally, including approaches that look at long term care needs across divisions, departments, and providers.
Responsible party: Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Alaska Mental Health Board
227. The Alaska Mental Health Board will advocate for this service and use the budget process to highlight the need.
Responsible party: Alaska Mental Health Board