Kodiak Area Native Association received $384,000 in grant funds to increase access to treatment for depression, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich's office said on Tuesday.

The funds will be used to treat depression patients in Kodiak through a primary care setting by using a team approach, including a consulting psychiatrist and a depression care manager, which doubles the positive results of usual depression care.

KANA was awarded the money as a sub-grantee of the John A. Hartford Foundation. These grants are made possible through the Social Innovation Fund, a White House-initiative and program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

 

Commonplace in the U.S., depression can double overall health care costs, and make other medical conditions worse.

"These funds will improve the lives of individuals and families in Kodiak who might otherwise have suffered in silence,” said Begich.

 

“Too many Alaskans lack access to mental health services. I’ve long advocated for more mental health resources for Alaskans and for a greater public awareness to eliminate the stigmas that surround mental illness and depression," he added.

The grant is intended to support innovative, evidence-based depression care.

KANA is one of seven additional sub-grantees in Alaska, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. The John A. Hartford Foundation received some $2 million total in the two-year grant.

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