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Fairbanks Native Association receives grant to help youths impacted by COVID-19

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:37 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) has received a series of grants totaling $4.1 million to help youths impacted by COVID-19.

According to Perry Ahsogeak, Director of Behavioral Health for Fairbanks Native Association, the grants provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will go towards providing various forms of services for youths in the Fairbanks community. Ahsogeak explained, “We received three new grants from SAMHSA these past couple of months to provide additional services to our youth here in the community, specifically related to COVID and the impact it’s made on them. We’ll focus on suicide, we’ll focus on trauma, we’ll focus on providing outpatient services for youth, and whatever else we can do to help our youth during this difficult time.”

Lasting nearly a year and a half, Ahsogeak says the pandemic has impacted communities in a variety of ways, “from the school environment, to the home environment, to their ability to reach out to their partners, to their community members, to other youth. It’s had a major impact on the social side of youth.”

According to Ahsogeak, FNA plans on collaborating with community members to ensure those impacted get the best quality of service. “We plan on providing staffing, we’re going to look at some community outreach, we’re going to look at community partnerships. We want to make sure that the youth know what resources are out there for them to have. We’ll look at all the resources. We want to do more of a partnership with all of our agencies here in the community. So it’s a variety of things [we’re] looking at: ‘What does this agency provide that can help the youth that we serve?’ or ‘What can we do to help them, to make sure they have resources to help our youth here in the community?’”

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