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CAST Receives Over Half-Million Dollars to Address Mental Health in Nome

Nome in 2002. Photo: Sir Mildred Pierce via Creative Commons.

The Nome Community Alcohol Safety Team Coalition (CAST) recently received over a $600,000 grant to address mental health in Nome.

Lisa Ellanna is the Coalition Coordinator and a Wellness Specialist at Kawerak.

She said the grant will focus on addressing overall mental health in Nome “by looking at parenting skills in our community, looking at engaging the schools, improving our engagement with the schools, and also addressing in some way historical trauma, multigenerational grief in our community.”

Those issues, Ellanna said, were the key concerns expressed during a community-wide assessment conducted by the Coalition earlier this year.

The grant runs four years, providing $150,000 per year and comes from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health.

The grant is titled The State of Alaska Comprehensive Behavioral Health Prevention and Early Intervention Services Grant.

Kawerak is acting as the funded agency on behalf of the Coalition. Ellanna said the Coalition will spend the next six months to a year developing a strategy to implement the grant and Kawerak will guide the Coalition in how to best deliver services.