ABOUT NORTH STAR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEM – NORTH STAR HOSPITAL
Based in Anchorage, Alaska, North Star Behavioral Health offers residential psychiatric treatment programs for children and adolescents. This includes the Trail Program, which provides acute residential care for children and teenagers ages four through 18, The Summit, for boys ages 11 through 18, and Alpine Academy, which treats girls ages 12 through 18.
There is also a facility for United States military service members and veterans, called the Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital, located about a mile away.
TREATMENT & ASSESSMENT
North Star offers holistic treatment for a wide range of mental, behavioral, and emotional diagnoses, including psychotic disorders, mood disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The facility also offers treatment for anxiety disorders, high-risk behaviors, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).
Evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and aggression reduction therapy are tailored to each child’s age and individual disorders, and carried out in both one-on-one and group settings. In general, clients at North Star learn coping skills and stress management techniques, receive education about their illness, and participate in a variety of experiential and recreational activities.
North Star also offers medication management and specialized groups that focus on topics such as stress management, developing coping skills, experiential therapies, and recreational based therapies. Family counseling is also a key part of the curriculum.
The multidisciplinary treatment team at North Star includes medical doctors, psychiatrists, nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as mental health specialists, dietitians, and certified recreational therapists.
ACCOMMODATIONS & AMENITIES
Images on the facility’s website of the three residential programs show shared bedrooms and modern facilities that are colorful, airy, and bright. All feature outdoor areas for recreation while Alpine Academy also offers a gymnasium.
WHAT ALUMNI SAY
Best-rehabs.com had yet to receive feedback from former clients at the time of this writing. Most reviews elsewhere online are from loved ones, though a few former clients themselves posted on secondary review sites and reported negative experiences.
Julia, the sole reviewer on Yelp, gave just one out of five stars for her experience and wrote, “There were often not enough staff and they were overwhelmed.” She added, “…no classes were being taught or group counseling being done.”
On Google, the hospital received a low average rating of 2.3 out of five stars based on 21 reviews at the time of this writing, mostly from dissatisfied loved ones. One of the alumni to comment, though, awarded just one out of five stars and wrote, “Most of the staff demean and belittle the kids, the units are too cramped, you’re exposed to things in there, drugs, and a whole bunch more.” A.C., another alum who reported staying at this facility three separate times, gave two stars and felt “the staffs there a 50/50, most of them talk garbage, gossip about pass patients, have favoritsm”
WHAT FRIENDS & FAMILY SAY
The two anonymous loved ones surveyed by Best-rehabs.com at the time of this writing gave North Star highly positive reviews. One gave the hospital five out of five stars across all 15 different metrics, from treatment effectiveness, to family participation, to affordability. He wrote that the facility was attentive to his cousin’s needs. Though this loved one noted pricing as a weakness, he described the facility as “a great place” overall.
The other reviewer also gave the facility above-average ratings – four out of five stars across all 15 metrics except treatment effectiveness, which they gave only two stars. “They helped and it was good but they didn’t help tons,” the loved one wrote.
“If I could have put 0 stars I would have,” Aiden wrote in a representative, one-star Google review. “They lie to parents… All they wanted to do was medicate (my son) with about 6 different meds. When he cane home he’s been off meds ever since and just fine. There are better resources out there. Unfortunately we didn’t know any better… Parents beware!!!”
According to, the facility accepts private insurance and Medicaid.