Alaska offers students the opportunity to pursue a variety of graduate-level programs in psychology. There are two universities in Alaska that offer a total of four different master’s degree programs in psychology. These degree programs cover areas such as counseling psychology, clinical psychology, and clinical community psychology. Besides this, doctoral psychology programs are also offered within Alaska.
The two universities that offer these programs are the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University. Students can choose between terminal and non-terminal degree programs, the latter of which provides the opportunity to pursue a doctorate in addition to a master’s degree. These programs are designed to be affordable, and students can select the option that best fits their financial needs.
Alaska Masters in Counselling Psychology
The Alaska Pacific University Master of Science in Counseling Psychology is a graduate-level program that aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to work in various counseling settings. The program is based in Anchorage, Alaska and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The program offers concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, allowing students to specialize in a specific area of counseling psychology. Through coursework, clinical experience, and research opportunities, students gain a deep understanding of counseling theories, ethical practices, and multicultural perspectives to prepare them for successful careers in the field of psychology.
Alaska Master in Clinical Psychology
The University of Alaska Anchorage Master of Science in Clinical Psychology is a graduate program designed to prepare students for a career in mental health counseling. The program is located in Anchorage, Alaska, and is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The program offers a specialization in Clinical Psychology, which includes coursework in clinical assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and research methods. Students gain hands-on clinical experience through supervised practicum and internship placements in a variety of mental health settings. Graduates of the program are prepared to work in clinical or research settings, pursue further education, or apply for licensure as a clinical psychologist.
Alaska Psychology and Mental Health-Focused Organizations
- Alaska Psychological Association (AK-PA) – a professional organization for psychologists in Alaska that advocates for the profession, promotes mental health awareness, and provides resources and networking opportunities for its members.
- Alaska Behavioral Health Association (ABHA) – a membership organization that represents behavioral health providers in Alaska and works to promote access to quality behavioral health services for Alaskans.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Alaska – a statewide organization that provides support, education, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness in Alaska.
- Alaska Mental Health Board (AMHB) – a board appointed by the governor of Alaska that advises on mental health policy and promotes the development of a comprehensive mental health system in Alaska.
- Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (AMHTA) – an independent state agency that manages the Alaska Mental Health Trust, a fund established to support programs and services for individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse disorders in Alaska.
- Southcentral Foundation (SCF) – a nonprofit healthcare organization that provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services to Alaska Native and American Indian people in the Anchorage area. SCF offers a variety of mental health services, including counseling, therapy, and medication management.
- Providence Alaska Behavioral Health – a hospital-based mental health program in Anchorage that offers inpatient and outpatient services for adults and adolescents struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse.
- Fairbanks Community Mental Health Services (FCMHS) – a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive behavioral health services to individuals in the Fairbanks area. FCMHS offers a range of services, including counseling, therapy, medication management, and case management.
Alaska Data and Mental Health Statistics
- According to the 2020 US Census, Alaska has a population of approximately 731,000 people.
- The prevalence of mental illness in Alaska is slightly higher than the national average, with an estimated 21% of adults experiencing a mental illness in any given year.
- Suicide is a significant concern in Alaska, with the state consistently ranking among the top ten states for suicide rates. In 2019, Alaska’s suicide rate was 27.2 per 100,000 people, which was significantly higher than the national average of 13.9 per 100,000 people.
- Alaska has a high prevalence of substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, which can contribute to mental health concerns and suicide risk.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted mental health in Alaska, with an increase in anxiety, depression, and substance abuse reported across the state.
- Alaska has implemented various mental health initiatives in recent years, including creating a statewide suicide prevention council and a behavioral health collaborative to improve access to mental health care in rural areas.
- Despite these initiatives, access to mental health care remains a significant issue in Alaska, particularly in remote and rural areas with limited resources and providers.
- Alaska has a large Native American population, and mental health concerns are more prevalent among this group due to historical trauma and ongoing issues related to colonization and discrimination. Access to culturally sensitive and appropriate mental health care can be a challenge for Native Americans in Alaska.
- Alaska also has a significant veteran population, and mental health concerns such as PTSD and depression can be prevalent among this group. Efforts have been made to improve access to mental health care for veterans in Alaska.