Students from various Anchorage high schools attended a Behavioral Health Camp during their spring break to explore topics related to mental wellness and medical career paths. Throughout the week, students engaged in collaborative activities with their peers to expand their knowledge on the impact of behavioral health issues and how this relates to themselves, family and friends, and our community in Alaska. Local guest speakers from ANTHC and AmeriCorps provided insight on tobacco use, behavioral health therapies, and local resources. Furthermore, students became certified in Mental Health First Aid, Heartsaver CPR/AED, and completed 2 college credits. As a group, we had the opportunity to visit the simulation lab at the UAA Health Sciences department where students participated in a “hands on” medical scenario facilitated by UAA professionals. We also visited Seeds of Change, a community organization dedicated to supporting youth through employment, outreach, and mental health services. Here, students explored a hydroponic farm system and participated in the planting of herbs to support the Seeds of Change agricultural initiative.

“I like all the activities that we have done and the trips we went to. I feel like this camp has open up my eyes to new possibilities within the medical field. I like how everyone here was so comfortable and open up about their lives and was so friendly.” – Student

 “This was an amazing experience with great vibrant energetic volunteers. I won’t forget my time here and I didn’t waste one bit of time coming here. I actually wish this program was longer. The kids who attended were very optimistic and had very colorful personalities that brought laughter in the darkness.” – Student