Talkeetna: (907) 733-2273 ~ Willow: (907) 495-4100 ~ Wasilla: (907) 376-2273

Feel happier

with the help of a
licensed counselor

 

  • Start right away – no waitlist
  • Get matched to the right counselor
  • Telemedicine options are available
  • We accept Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance
  • Sliding fee scale available
Call Now

Welcome to Behavioral Health services at Sunshine Community Health Center (SCHC). We look forward to the opportunity to assist you in reaching your personal goals. We specialize in a variety of services such as individual, couples, family, and group therapy.

At SCHC we believe in providing a team approach to giving you the best care possible. Our Behavioral Health team also provides integrated care with our Primary Care Providers to provide you with holistic, patient-centered care.

To begin your journey towards a happier, healthier life call and make an appointment today. Use the appointment web form on this page or call Helen Michaelson or Tanya Olson at:

  • Talkeetna – 733-2273 EXT. 377
  • Willow – 495-4100
  • Wasilla – 376-2273 EXT. 2660

Frontiersman 2021 Best of the Valley Winner logoWe are proud to have been voted Best of the Valley in 2021, tying for First Place in the Mental Health Facility category.

 

Schedule an Appointment

Enter your information below. We'll call you right back!

Behavioral Health Providers

 

Sarah Blanning, LCSW - Behavioral Health Director
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sarah graduated with her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. She caught the Alaska bug after her first visit, and relocated to Alaska in 2011. She has provided services to a variety of populations for over ten years, including individuals impacted by family or sexual violence, those struggling with addiction, and military members and their families. Sarah obtained her clinical licensure in 2015 and has a special interest in the treatment of trauma and anxiety disorders. In her free time, Sarah enjoys snow-machining, four-wheeling, spending time at her cabin, building and refinishing furniture, and reading.
Portrait of sarah blanning, licensed clinical social worker
Patrick Albert, LCSW
Patrick received his BA Sociology from Western Illinois University in 1973 and his MSW from Aurora University in 1998. His experience includes working with disabled adults in employment settings, serving children and families in a child welfare system, supporting dialysis patients, supporting adults with chronic mental illness in their homes, and he has provided a broad range of behavioral health services to children and adults in the Midwest and Alaska. Patrick is married with two adult daughters, who are disabled and living with them. They all share a passion for their Pomeranians, as well as for exploring and photographing Alaska's wildlife and landscape. Patrick also enjoys building his music skills on banjo, guitar, mandolin and dobro.
Patrick Albert, LCSW
Kirstin Nosek, LCSW

Kirstin completed her Bachelor of Communication at Oregon State University in 1996 and her Master of Social Work in 2007 at Portland State University. She is an Alaska Board of Social Worker (CASA). She previously worked at Providence Alaska Medical Center as a Social Work Clinician float for the past 13 years. In addition to her hospital experience, she spent time working with Child Protective Services, CASA, District Attorney Rape Victim Advocate Program, and the St. Vincent heart transplant team.Kirsten provides behavioral health services for a diverse socio-economic population with a wide range of presenting problems. She works with patients and their families to complete full bio-psychosocial assessments for patients with complex mental health and physical health needs.

Kirstin has a passion for all outdoor activities that Alaska has to offer including skiing, skating, hiking, and kayaking. Ice skating the rivers and lakes being the most magical! She currently calls Anchorage home but hopes to spend more time in Talkeetna as she and her husband are closer to being empty nesters. She is excited to be part of the Sunshine Clinic and continue to build relationships with the Talkeetna community.

Kristen Nosek, LCSW
Linsdey Russell, LCSW

Lindsey attended Temple University in Philadelphia, PA and Middle Tennessee State University. She completed her Master of Social Work at the University of TN College of Social Work in 2013 and has worked in behavioral health since 2009. Her clinical experience includes school counseling, residential, and outpatient mental health facilities and  work with children, teens, adults and couples of diverse backgrounds.

Linsdey is a wife and mother to three beautiful and wild children. She recently moved from North Carolina to Alaska to start our new family adventure. In her spare time, she enjoy spending time with family, doing artwork, reading and fishing.

Lindsay Russell

 

Angie Cronin, PsyD

Angie attended college at the University of Montana from 2003-2007, studying Psychology. She later attended William James College in Boston, MA, from 2008-2013 and earned her PsyD in clinical psychology. Her internship and residency training was at the University of New Hampshire Health Services.

Angie enjoys helping individuals live their healthiest and happiest lives. She supports clients in navigating the complexity of life by traveling this journey with them and helping them make any adjustments along the course. Angie values and respects diversity and want clients to feel safe and comfortable talking with her.

Angie Cronin, PysD
Tanya Korta, LPC

Tanya is originally from Minnesota and has lived and worked in rural Alaska for the past 25 years. She was formerly an elementary school teacher who evolved into a community behavioral health counselor, working for a tribal health organization providing behavioral health services for the past 8 years. Tanya earned a master’s degree in community counseling from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2014 and became a Licensed Professional Counselor in 2017. She has experience working with a diverse group of people impacted by mental health issues including substance abuse, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, and trauma-related stress disorders. I have a special interest in working with children and adolescents. Tanya and her husband have three grown children and enjoy outdoor adventures and small town living.

Tanya Korta, LPC
Mike Adams, LPC

Mike attended University of Oklahoma for four years and Northeastern State University two years where he received his Masters in Human Relations. Mike has worked and supported clients in a clinical, home-based and school based services for over thirteen years and he enjoys working with kids, adolescents and older adults. His clinical experience also includes helping individuals with anger management, trauma, anxiety and trauma.

Mike enjoys all sports and his favorites are football and tennis. He is learning to be a better hunter and would love to learn more. Mike enjoys flying drones and playing with his two boys who are 3 and 6.

 

 

Kirsten Strolle, LMSW

Kirsten has been a Behavioral Health Care Manager at SCHC since 2016 and has worked in direct services for over 10 years serving a variety of patients, both children and adults, including survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse.

Kirsten graduated from Grand Valley State University in 2007 with a B.S. in Political Science and a Minor in Sociology. She earned her M.S.W. from the University of New England in 2020. She completed her clinical internship at SCHC which included individual sessions and a  Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy Group.

Kirsten enjoys hiking, skiing and foraging.

Kirsten Strolle, Behavioral Health Clinician

Behavioral Health Services

 

Integrated Care
Integrated care is a holistic, team approach to meeting the needs of the mind and the body. At Sunshine Community Health Center we address medical, behavioral, and substance abuse within the primary care setting. Integrated Care helps patients with multiple healthcare issues to have better healthcare outcomes, have a better experience, and to save money.
Individual / Family / Couples
Therapy sessions revolve around your present or long standing needs. The Behavioral Health Specialists will help you to build upon your existing strengths while also exploring new tools for you to use. Individual, family, or couples counseling is available and our Behavioral Health Specialists work with people of all ages. We look forward to helping you live a happier life.
Domestic Violence Support
Sunshine Community Health Center can help people who have experienced domestic violence by addressing the emotional, logistical, and physical barriers to healing. Our Behavioral Health Specialists are equipped to provide a variety of therapeutic options to treat trauma, including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) as well as other emotional concerns. Financial help for those who experience violence may be available through the Families in Crisis Fund, which is funded by the Talkeetna Bachelor Society. In addition, the Behavioral Health team can provide assistance with accessing transportation, shelter, and other emergency needs. The Behavioral Health Team will also work with people to create a safety plan based on their current needs. If you are concerned that your relationship is unhealthy, please do not hesitate to contact the Sunshine Clinic and ask for the Behavioral Health Assistant.

Domestic Violence

Learn:

  • About the cycle of abuse
  • What are warning signs of domestic violence
  • What support services are available

Addiction Recovery Treatment
This program is for all patients who have are struggling with their use/abuse of alcohol or other drugs. Although a patient may combine some form of medication assisted treatment (MAT) with their Behavioral Health treatment, this treatment program is separate from our OBOT program. Treatment options are based on the needs of the patient and may include individual, group, or family counseling. Our Behavioral Health Specialists are able to assist patients who are referred by the court or by the Office of Children’s Service (OCS). Patients who are interested in attending the Addiction Recovery Group must speak with a Behavioral Health provider prior to the first group.

Living With Substance Abuse

Learn:

  • What is Substance Abuse
  • How to Recognize it
  • What are the Impacts on Families
  • Treatment Options

Office Based Opioid Treatment

The Office Based Opiate Treatment (OBOT) program that combines the use of the medication, Suboxone®, an FDA approved medication for treatment of people with opiate dependence, with outpatient Behavioral Health treatment. This program helps people struggling with opiate addiction transition from a life of drug dependence to a life of recovery. Suboxone® contains two types of medication, buprenorphine and Naloxone®, which complement each other in detoxification and maintenance therapy. Maintenance therapy can continue as long as deemed medically necessary by the physician. Behavioral Health treatment consists of an assessment followed by group and individual counseling as agreed upon by the treatment team. The OBOT program at SCHC requires a commitment to abstinence from all substances, including nicotine, once a person is in the program. Support will be given to people who need assistance in stopping the use of substances other than opiates. In Phase I of the program, all group sessions are held at the Talkeetna clinic.

Are you or someone you know struggling with opiate addiction?  Medication Assisted Treatment using Suboxone is one option to consider.  If you are interested in learning more about this type of treatment, you can contact our Behavioral Health Assistant at 733-9202.

If you’d like more information, this article describes the research on the effectiveness of MAT.

 

EMDR

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. To date, EMDR therapy has helped millions of people of all ages relieve many types of psychological stress.  The amount of time the complete treatment will take depends upon the history of the client. Complete treatment of the targets involves a three pronged protocol (past, present, and future), and are needed to alleviate the symptoms and address the complete clinical picture. The goal of EMDR therapy is to process completely the experiences that are causing problems, and to include new ones that are needed for full health. “Processing” does not mean talking about it. “Processing” means setting up a learning state that will allow experiences that are causing problems to be “digested” and stored appropriately in your brain. That means that what is useful to you from an experience will be learned, and stored with appropriate emotions in your brain, and be able to guide you in positive ways in the future. The inappropriate emotions, beliefs, and body sensations will be discarded.

Additional Resources

 

TitleDescriptionVersionDownload
Acute Stress

Learn:

  • What it is
  • What are common symptoms
  • What can you do to help 
DownloadPreview
Anger Management

Learn:

  • What it is and early warning systems
  • Defusing strategies
  • Ways to change thinking patterns
  • When you need professional help 
DownloadPreview
Coronavirus-Anxiety-Workbook DownloadPreview
Cutting and Self Harm

Learn:

  • What it is and the types of self harm
  • Symptoms of depression and suicide
  • When you need professional help
  • Types of treatment 
DownloadPreview
Depression

 Learn:

  • What it is and the different types
  • What are common symptoms
  • When you need professional help
  • Types of treatment 
DownloadPreview
Domestic Violence

Learn:

  • About the cycle of abuse
  • What are warning signs of domestic violence
  • What support services are available
DownloadPreview
Grief

Learn:

  • The different types of losses
  • What are the 7 stages
  • Ways to cope with grief
  • When you need professional help 
DownloadPreview
Living With Substance Abuse

Learn:

  • What is Substance Abuse
  • How to Recognize it
  • What are the Impacts on Families
  • Treatment Options
DownloadPreview
coping with stress during coronavirus DownloadPreview