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MISSISSIPPI PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES HELP MEET MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF MISSISSIPPIANS

12/16/2022 - Jackson, Miss.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental illnesses are common across the United States. The lives of tens of millions of people and their families are impacted each year. However, it is estimated that only half of those suffering from mental illness receive treatment. Mississippi Public Universities are working to meet this need by educating the next generation of mental health care workers and providing counseling and services to students and staff members.

Jackson State University (JSU) professor Amal Mitra, DrPH, is a recipient of the 2022-2023 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award. He is participating in a six-month project in India to study the psychological implications of COVID-19 on adolescents within developing countries. With the completion of this program, he hopes to provide mentorship to JSU junior faculty, develop joint study abroad programs in developing countries, and aid students in understanding the health policies and issues within countries across the world.

Jackson State University's Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition Department (MJCPC) had their Substance Abuse Prevention Block Grant renewed by the Mental Health Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services. The department will receive $304,488 for the 2022-23 fiscal year. This renewal also marks the department's 31st year being awarded funding for substance abuse prevention. The purpose of the grant is to provide evidence-based substance abuse prevention services to local schools, colleges, and communities. Metro Jackson serves K-12 schools, colleges, and the collective Jackson community. Additionally, the grant helps with developing and implementing an age-appropriate, culturally relevant comprehensive prevention program which includes a broad array of strategies directed at individuals not identified to be in need of treatment.

Jackson State University's Department of Psychology in the School of Social and Behavioral Science in the College of Liberal Arts, offers two degrees: Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. The department offers various services to campus members and the local community through its Applied Psychological Services Center. The Center is designed for its doctoral students to receive training in the field alongside licensed professionals. Services include mental health assessments and interventions, therapeutic and psychoeducational services, and consultations.

Mississippi State University is a state leader in providing developmental, psychological, behavioral and academic services to those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These extensive services, including MSU's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic, are soon to be housed in the university's new 100,000-square-foot Jim and Thomas Duff Center. The community clinic's offerings include individual or group-based intervention and psycho-educational assessment to adolescents, adults and families. It also is a training ground for university graduate students under direct faculty supervision.

Mississippi State University is training the next generation of educational psychologists through one of the only undergraduate degree programs of its kind in the nation. MSU's Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology opens doors for graduates to not only aid students in K-12 school settings, but also individuals in community mental health centers, hospitals, private industry and more.

The team of health scientists in MSU's Division of Agriculture, Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine working on the PROMISE (PReventing Opioid Misuse In the SouthEast) Initiative have identified farm stress as a key indicator of mental health and substance use disorders in rural populations. Farm owners, managers, and workers have the highest rates of death due to stress-related diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and ulcers. The profession also has the 4th highest rate of suicide of any profession in the U.S. See how Extension agents are supporting the mental health of those working on the farm. The MSU Extension Service offers Mental Health First Aid training to equip individuals to better identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health crises and challenges, such as substance-use disorders. Classes are open for registration, or to schedule training for a group of five or more, email erw8@msstate.edu.

The Counseling Center is available to provide a wide range of services to students currently enrolled at Mississippi University for Women. If a student is experiencing stress, having difficulty adjusting to student life, struggling to create or maintain peer/family relationships, or simply needs an objective point of view regarding a decision or issue in their life, the counseling center staff can help.

The W Common Reading Initiative 2022 selection is Bravey by Alexi Pappas. In Bravey, the Olympic runner, actress, filmmaker and writer Alexi Pappas shares what she's learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain and achieving your dreams.

University life is supposed to be filled with challenging academics to help you grow, but The W knows those challenges become overwhelming for students struggling to cover their basic needs. Here is a compiled a list of services to help W students get access to the resources they need, from food security to community connection, so you can focus on your studies.

The University of Mississippi's School of Law Student Wellness Program is among three national recipients of the 2022 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award. The award is part of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism. Judges found the school's wellness program provides students with exemplary and innovative well-being resources and programming. The school developed a robust wellness program in 2018 to help students thrive in school and set them up for success postgraduation. Since then, the school has developed a range of programs and events to serve its roughly 475 students each year to provide support in the areas of intellectual, mental, physical, social, spiritual and financial wellness.

The Counselor Education Clinic for Outreach and Personal Enrichment (COPE) at the University of Mississippi offers free mental health counseling to faculty, staff and students as well as to members of the community. COPE counselors are a team of graduate students working under the supervision of licensed counselors and faculty. The clinic is an essential training component to allow students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to clinical experience. COPE also offers telehealth counseling services to adolescents, college students and adults within the state of Mississippi.

The Clinical-Disaster Research Center at the University of Mississippi integrates research, training and service in disaster mental health. The center develops evidence-based disaster preparedness, mitigation and response practices to meet the needs of the university, local community and region. The CDRC strives to better understand the experiences of those affected by disasters and how they cope with these events.

University of Mississippi Medical Center's Student Counseling and Wellness Center (SCWC) promotes the mental health and wellness of UMMC students across all degree through evidence-based mental health care for a wide range of mental health concerns. The work at the SCWC is tailored to each student.

UMMC's Office of Well-being received a $3 million federal award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration. Ten institutions, including UMMC, were funded through the grant category "Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professionals Workforce Program."

In research, Dr. Lei Zhang, UMMC professor and associate dean for research and scholarship in the School of Nursing, was awarded two grants: $5.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to establish the Mississippi Violence Injury Prevention Program, and $2 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to help prevent domestic violence against women. The grant will include examination of PTSD, depression and other mental health conditions associated with firearm-related injuries that can interfere with a victim's recovery,

The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Psychology has a long history of supporting the university and surrounding communities through research and psychological service in the schools, business, and through providing low-cost mental health services to residents of South Mississippi. The University offers a BS degree in Psychology as well as four graduate programs. The MS in Counseling Psychology is accredited by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council.

The Ph.D. programs in Psychology with emphases in Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychology are all accredited by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation. Students at The University of Southern Mississippi have access to individual appointments with the professional, multi-disciplinary staff at Student Counseling Services (SCS). SCS staff members have expertise across a variety of therapeutic styles and mental health concerns. The University also offers Mental Health First Aid to students, faculty, and staff, and all benefit-eligible Southern Miss employees have access to an Employee Assistance Program, which provides free access to three counseling sessions each year for stress, depression, family and other issues.

Alcorn State University recently opened its newly renovated Counseling Services space in the same location as Health and Disability Services to offer a more holistic approach to healthcare. Counseling Services offers professional mental health, primary prevention, outreach/ education, and general wellness promotion interventions for ASU students, faculty, and staff. Our mission is to provide effective individual and group counseling services to our constituents. The provision of relevant crisis intervention, prevention, and outreach programs also comprises a key component of our departmental mission.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services awarded the Alcorn State Child Development Center with a Child Care Strong Stabilization Grant. The grant, which totals $256,230 provides financial relief to childcare providers to help defray unexpected business costs associated with the pandemic and to help stabilize their operations so that they may continue to provide care. The funds will be used for faculty and staff professional development, recruitment, mental health services, and much more.

Delta State University's Bachelor of Social Work Program in partnership with the Children's Advocacy Centers of Mississippi is developing the Delta Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC) to be located on DSU's campus in connection with the DSU Children's Advocacy Studies Training (CAST) Certification Program. The purpose of this center will be to respond to child abuse in the Mississippi Delta (specifically Bolivar and Sunflower counties) by serving children and non-offending caregivers through a trauma-informed multi-disciplinary approach.

A degree in Counseling from Delta State University is a gateway into the world of personal and professional wellness development. Delta State's Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) in Counselor Education includes two specialties - Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Both specialties are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. When students finish the program, they are qualified as school counselors or mental health counselors. The Education Specialist in Counseling degree (Ed.S.) is for practicing school counselors who wish to enhance their school counseling programs and practices.

Hosted by Delta State University's Division of Counselor Education & Psychology, the annual F. E. Woodall Conference serves both students and professionals by providing essential information, support and networking opportunities to helping professionals in the region. The conference offers professionals in a variety of helping fields the opportunity to attend interesting and informative workshops at a nominal cost. The conference began in 1981, under the direction of Dr. Fred E. Woodall, a previous and highly admired professor. Keynote speakers have included seven American Counseling Association Presidents, an international innovator/inventor and other nationally recognized leaders in the field of counseling. Students and professionals spend the day selecting from over 30 peer-reviewed, continuing education content sessions. Presenters are often faculty and students from Delta State and other universities as well as leading professionals in the field. Advanced students have the opportunity to present with their faculty members.

Kasee Stratton-Gadke, co-director of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic at Mississippi State, talks with an adolescent whose family has benefited from the services there. Kasee Stratton-Gadke, co-director of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic at Mississippi State, talks with an adolescent whose family has benefited from the services there. Mississippi State University’s new 100,000-square-foot Jim and Thomas Duff Center will serve as a vital resource for Mississippi children and families, providing a comprehensive learning environment and hands-on training ground not only for students, but practitioners as well. Mississippi State University’s new 100,000-square-foot Jim and Thomas Duff Center will serve as a vital resource for Mississippi children and families, providing a comprehensive learning environment and hands-on training ground not only for students, but practitioners as well.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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