Behavioral HealthTitle: Healthy Lifestyle Projects - Progress update (pdf)
Summary of Activity
Human development of the Arctic and subarctic regions, such as Alaska, Russia, Canada and other northern nations, has resulted in significant changes in the health and well being of its indigenous peoples and the “newcomers” to the north. Among the health problems that have emerged are suicide, an increase in the incidence of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and substance abuse. The activities under this project will provide information exchange and training opportunities to make advances in caring and treatment of Arctic residents with mental health issues.
The Northern Forum cooperates with regional governments to facilitate training opportunities and workshops. In addition, members of the working group consisting of specialists in the field of alcohol and drug abuse treatment from Northern Forum member regions are involved throughout the planning process. Current members are:
Vologda: Dr.Victor Bridnya, Head physician, Vologda Regional Narcological Hospital, Chair of the Working Group
Sakha: Dr. Nurguyana Matveeva, Laboratory Head, Russian Academy of Medical Science, Yakutsk Science Center
Kh-Mansiysk: Dr. Andrey Novikov, Head of dispensary department, Regional clinical
psycho-neurological hospital of Khanty-Mansiysk
Komi: To be confirmed
Chukotka: Dr. Natalia Noskova, Physician, rehabilitation, Medical prophylactics department of Chukotka regional hospital
As part of the Northern Forum’s on-going work under Healthy Lifestyles project, a series of workshops and training activities have taken place. These activities are briefly described below:
a. The Health Congress
At the invitation of the Congress' planning committee, Dr. Segal made two presentations at the congress. The first talk, "Promoting Family Health," was given in a working group session, attended by 70-80 people, that addressed health care issues. His second address, "Advancing Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment: Developing an Integrated System of Care within a Public Health Framework," was held at the opening plenary session of the Congress, attended by over 100 people.
b. Suicide Prevention
A strategic workshop/seminar was planned to be held in Suntar, a rural community hub west of Yakutsk, to be attended by health providers and health-related workers in surrounding communities. Inclement weather, however, precluded flying into the community, necessitating postponing the program until next spring.
In lieu of conducting the program on suicide prevention in the rural community, a forum was held at the Yakutsk Scientific Center, attended by over 50 physicians and medical students and other health care and health-related professionals.
A delegation consisting of three doctors from Khanty-Mansiysk’s Clinical Neuro-psychological Hospital visited Anchorage and Seattle on May 24 - June 4, 2008. The group visited three substance abuse treatment programs – "Clithroe Alcoholism Treatment Program" in Anchorage, “Therapeutic Health Services” and “Lakeside Milan” programs in Seattle. The doctors were provided with in-depth information about each program, including patient in-take procedures, patient interviewing techniques, diagnostics, treatment, and detox approaches, as well as funding, and other information pertinent to each program.
At present, plans for an international videoconference are underway with participation of substance abuse treatment experts in Alaska, Khanty-Mansiysk, Sakha Republic, Vologda, and other member regions of the Northern Forum. The videoconference will take place on November 24-25, 2008 and focus on short-term outpatient substance abuse rehabilitation strategies and stages.
Dr. Priscilla Wohl
The Northern Forum
716 W. 4th Ave. Suite 100
Anchorage, AK 99501
Tel: (907) 561-3280
Fax: (907) 561-6645
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