Kendra’s Story

Fairbanks client Kendra knew moving to Alaska from Missouri was going to be tough, but she didn’t know exactly how tough. She has struggled with severe depression for many years, layered with trauma she experienced in her teens and early twenties.  So she’s always had to work hard to maintain her mental health.

woman smiling at camera in front of mountains

Why Fairbanks?

She and her husband decided to move to Fairbanks to support her sister after she’d been through a divorce.  When her family talked it over, it just felt like something they needed to do, especially after her husband got a job offer.

“It’s so beautiful here and there is so much to experience, we just said, ‘Let’s go for it.’”

But she did have some concerns. She knew she’d have to pay extra attention to Seasonal Affective Disorder, and she needed to find a psychiatric provider.

A tough move

The family arrived at the end of June.  It was a bit overwhelming: the first big move of her life, with kids ages 5 to 13. Getting used to a new place. Figuring out how to get everyone on insurance, and resources for her son on the autism spectrum. Soon, her depression was the worst it has ever been, and her medication wasn’t working well.

Welcome help

Then, she googled and found Alaska Behavioral Health.

“And from the first phone call, everyone was so sweet, I didn’t feel like I was being rushed through. The staff wasn’t hardened to my needs, the way staff often are at mental health centers. They were amazing in just helping me fight through it.”

It took a few tries to find the right medication, and through it, Kendra saw two psychiatric providers and the primary care provider at our Fairbanks clinic. She got connected to therapy and peer support.

Next steps

Now that she’s stabilized, she’s taking peer support training classes, and hoping to volunteer in the community using those skills.  It will help her to stay busy, and focus on what’s important.  And it will allow her to provide others with what she needed so much over the summer:

“Sometimes you just don’t have the help or support, and you just don’t know where to go or what to do. And I want to help people in that same situation that I was in.”

We’re so glad Kendra found the help she needed at Alaska Behavioral Health.

Need help now?

For appointments in Fairbanks, call 907-371-1300.

For appointments in Anchorage, call 907-563-1000.

Walk-in crisis hours are available at our clinics any weekday between 9 and 5 pm. Medical department walk-in hours are listed here.