07/13/2022 - Military family clinic at Creekview Plaza 49 celebrates 2 years with 500 lives saved

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - On Tuesday, the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic celebrated two years of operations in Anchorage.

During that time, they have had between 5,000 and 6,000 sessions at their Anchorage location, with 500 patients receiving care. But, they say, that’s more than just a person — it is a life saved.

“The goal of the clinic is to save lives, save families and save futures,” Cohen Veteran Network CEO Anthony Hassan said. “... We are here to help them get over the barrier. We’re here to help them get the help they need because we know if we miss this opportunity, it might be the last opportunity.”

To celebrate that accomplishment and its two-year anniversary, the clinic — which operates at Alaska Behavioral Health in Northeast Anchorage — hosted an outdoor gathering Tuesday. The event featured different speakers, such as state Sen. Joshua Revak, mental health professionals and members of the Armed Forces. In addition, attendees were provided a tour of the facilities.

“Getting a chance to celebrate coming together as a community, coming together as a group of folks trying to support our military community,” Hassan said. “So that when they need help, they get help.”

According to the clinic, Alaska sees a high need for its services. The state has the highest veteran population per capita, making up 12% of the population, and with the larger population comes higher suicide rates among military members.

One Coast Guard member reflected at the event about the impact of losing one of her service member teammates to suicide. She spoke about the struggles military members faced in finding a location that was able to provide mental health services and wait times that typically stretch between four to eight weeks out.

Breaking down those barriers, Hassan said, is a key role that the clinic is doing. The clinic provides day-of service for any Veterans, Active Duty members and their associated family members. In addition, the clinic provides telehealth services, so its services can be accessed across the state. If a patient has a barrier, Hassan said they will work to help them cross it.

“If you need childcare, we’ll have someone here ready to take care of your child when you come. If you need a ride to our clinic, we’ll make sure you have a free ride,” Hassan said. “There’s no reason why you can’t get help at the Cohen Clinic if you’ve served this country just one day.”

Watch the News story on Alaska News Source