New clinic dedicated to veterans' mental health slated to open in early 2020

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - A new clinic dedicated to taking care of veterans' mental health is set to open in early 2020, and is projected to reach tens of thousands of people in the long run, with room to expand.

"We're building it to our projections," said Anchorage Community Mental Health Services' Jim Myers, "but if numbers come in higher than we're expecting, we'll expand to meet the need."

A lease for the clinic, which will be run by Cohen Veterans Network in partnership with Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, was recently signed for a spot off Muldoon and Debarr. The plan is to have the Anchorage location resemble those already up and running in the Lower 48.

"We felt that we could go to Alaska and make a difference with care," said Anthony Hassan, of Cohen Veterans Network, "to ensure veterans and their family members have access to healthcare that they deserve."

The focus of the space is not only on long-term therapy, but highlights brief intervention: For example, a dozen therapy sessions can serve as a kickstart to mental health services. The partnership then allows people to get long-term services at ACMHS if needed.

The services are also rendered regardless of veterans' discharge statuses, and extend to whomever the vet considers family.

Officials say the plan is for a soft open in February and a grand opening soon after that.

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