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A variety of services for mental health, IDD, alcohol and drug addictions, and Alzheimer’s disease and other Dementia are available across the state. To find the nearest DMH Certified Service Providers in your area, use the search form below and enter your county. Please contact the certified provider directly regarding availability of services.

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Mississippi Expands Program of Assertive Community Treatment Teams

In an effort to continue to expand community-based services, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) is under way with the development of four additional Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) Teams. 

The new teams will be operating in Mississippi’s Gulf Coast region, the Hattiesburg region, DeSoto County and to the Jackson Metro area. Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources will operate the teams in the Hattiesburg and coastal counties, Timber Hills Mental Health Services will operate the team in DeSoto County and Hinds Behavioral Health Services will operate the team based in Jackson.

PACT is an individual-centered, recovery-oriented, mental health service delivery model for facilitating community living, psychological rehabilitation and recovery for persons who have the most severe and persistent mental illnesses and have not benefited from traditional outpatient services.

 “We have developed a motto with our PACT teams, and that is ‘Whatever it takes,’” said Andrew Day, Director of Adult Services in the DMH Bureau of Community Mental Health Services. “That’s what we do. It’s all about the individuals we’re serving. The teams figure out how to deliver services in the best way possible to each individual.”

These four new teams will be in addition to the two DMH currently has in the state, one operated by Life Help Community Mental Health Center based out of Greenwood and one operated by Warren Yazoo Mental Health Center based out of Vicksburg.

PACT Teams serve individuals who may have gone without appropriate services. They are mobile, delivering services in the community and enabling individuals to avoid treatment in an inpatient setting. Each PACT team is made of individuals from multidisciplinary backgrounds who share responsibility for addressing the needs of the individuals served.  The services they deliver are individually tailored for each individual to address their goals and preferences. 

The PACT teams that have already been operating have made a significant difference for the individuals they have served, said Charles Stampley, Team Leader for the Warren-Yazoo PACT program.

“I think there is a strong need for programs like PACT,” he said. “All of the services are individualized for each client, and are as hands-on as any program could get. I believe for the underserved and less responsive to traditional mental health clients, a program such as this that encompasses a holistic approach is what the client would need.”

Stampley said the PACT teams have had a significant impact for individuals who are homeless, and approximately 25 percent of those the team serves are homeless or in imminent danger of becoming homeless. They often have significant financial conflicts, he said.

“PACT has seen dramatic benefits within this area, as all but one individual of the 25 percent has been paired with housing. About one third of the 25 percent has allowed PACT to assist them with money management.

“It has meant a lot to the individuals served, as it has meant for us to provide the service,” Stampley said.

Though each of the four new PACT teams are just in the beginning stages of their formation, Day said he is hopeful they will be operating and serving individuals in their respective areas before the end of the year. In the four years DMH has had PACT teams operating, they have been extraordinarily successful in helping individuals in recovery by ensuring they can stay and participate in the communities of their choice.

Mental health is a serious public health problem in Mississippi. In 2013, more than 165,000 people needed treatment for a mental health issue. Since many people do not seek help, Mississippians must continue to have conversations on mental health in order to increase understanding and stay focused on the concept of recovery – a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Recovery is unique to each individual and can truly only be defined by the individuals themselves. 

“Recovery not only benefits the individual, it benefits the entire community,” said Diana Mikula, DMH Executive Director. “Evidence-based programs such as PACT Teams are essential to keep individuals in the community and help them continue on their road to recovery. We must continue to expand Mississippi’s community-capacity for the individuals served by the public mental health system.”

If you or someone you know is in need of services and supports, call the DMH’s 24 hour-a-day, 7 days a week at 1-877-210-8513 or visit www.dmh.ms.gov.

Technical Assistance Collaborative Releases Supportive Housing Strategy Report

Several state agencies have a role in providing housing and support services for individuals with disabilities and life challenges in Mississippi. The State has lacked a coordinated approach and infrastructure to address the needs of these individuals. The Mississippi Department of Mental Health retained the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) to assist in developing a statewide integrated supportive housing strategy for people with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities, addictive disease, veterans and other high-need individuals in the state.

TAC’s engagement involved producing a report with recommendations for the Mississippi Legislature to consider in preparing the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. During the preparation of this report, TAC identified key issues Mississippi should address to improve its ability to meet the integrated supportive housing needs of the identified individuals. This report includes recommendations informed by numerous interviews conducted with individuals across the range of housing and state service agencies. These recommendations are intended to build upon and leverage the existing resources and capacity in Mississippi, as well as provide the needed oversight, direction and leadership to ensure statewide ownership and commitment.

 

A Statewide Approach for Integrated Supportive Housing in Mississippi

 

 

 

 

Department of Mental Health Announces Housing Initiative

September 26, 2014 (Jackson, MS) – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) a Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant for the implementation of the Mississippi Housing 4 Recovery initiative.

The Department received notification in September that the agency has been selected by SAMHSA to receive $1,189,391 for the first year of implementation of the Mississippi Housing 4 Recovery (MH4R) initiative. The initiative will address housing and support service needs of persons who are experiencing chronic homelessness with substance use or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

Mississippi Housing 4 Recovery is designed to increase the availability of permanent supportive housing for individuals who are chronically homeless. This will be accomplished by combining the provision of resources and services while supporting the dissemination of best practices statewide and incorporating recovery at every level of service. Because this grant is jointly funded by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the project will be co-directed by Mark Stovall, Director of DMH Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services, and Trisha Hinson, Director of DMH Community Living.

“What this means for DMH is the opportunity to expand and enhance programs and services that are already proving to be effective in supporting individuals to enable them to live successfully in the community,” Hinson said.

With a start-up date of October 1, 2014, MH4R will be implemented over a three year period. During that time frame, a total of 297 individuals are expected to be enrolled and served, with outreach services provided to as many as 500 individuals.

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Included in MH4R is a commitment from five housing service providers in the state of approximately 109 housing slots per year, for a total of 327 housing slots.

MH4R will expand or enhance a number of best-practice models that are already in use in the Department of Mental Health, including Programs of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) and the Oxford House recovery home model.

PACT is an individual-centered, recovery-oriented behavioral service delivery model for facilitating community living, psychological rehabilitation and recovery for individuals who have the most severe and persistent mental illness that jeopardizes their ability to have housing stability. The Oxford House model is another concept in which a group of individuals in recovery from drug and alcohol use run their own self-sustaining and drug-free household. Each Oxford House is self-governed with a shared responsibility for successful integration into the community neighborhood.

DMH and Think Again Network Release Media Guidebook

September 26, 2014 (Jackson, MS) – The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Think Again Network have completed work on a project that aims to change the portrayal of mental illness across the state.

DMH and Think Again have released a Mental Health Media Guidebook for Mississippi Journalists that provides tips and helpful information regarding coverage of the often sensitive topics of mental illness and suicide. The Think Again Network is a group of mental health professionals and advocates who seek to educate the public across the state about the misconceptions of mental illness. With that goal in mind, the media guide acts as a tool and resource to help journalists in their work of providing fair and comprehensive news coverage.

The guide builds on the Associated Press Stylebook entry on mental illness. The AP Stylebook is a writing guide for journalists that is published and updated each year, but the entry on mental illness was only added in 2013. However, research has shown that many people do not have much information on behavioral health issues other than what they have perceived from the mass media.

The goal with this guide is to aid journalists, especially journalism students, in providing appropriate news coverage that can help break down the stigma surrounding mental health. The guide also provided an opportunity for several Mississippians to share their own stories of how they have been affected by mental illness.

One such story is from Mississippi journalist and University of Mississippi journalism professor Robin Street. She shares her account of overcoming and recovering from a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

“As a journalist, I have written often about mental health issues, trying to help people understand them,” she said in her story. “As a college journalism instructor, I implore journalists and journalism students to take time to understand and report on mental health issues.”

The guidebook presents some general information that would be informative to the general public, such as the fact that mental illnesses are common, and one in five adults has a diagnosable mental illness. It drives home that recovery is possible and treatment works.
It also deals with some topics that are crucially important – reporting on suicide and the relationship between mental illness and violence.

More than 50 studies worldwide have found that news coverage can increase the likelihood of an already-vulnerable person attempting suicide. That increase has been tied to the amount, duration, and prominence of the media coverage. The information presented in the guidebook focuses on ways to avoid misinformation about suicide and avoid sensationalizing it. In short, suicide is a very complex topic, but it is possible to report on it while still informing an audience and also including information that can offer hope and resources to individuals who may be affected by it.

While violent acts committed by individuals living with mental illnesses are not uncommon in the news cycle, research has shown violence and mental illness should not necessarily be linked together. The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that the likelihood of violence from people with mental illness is “exceptionally small.” A study published in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry says that the vast majority of mentally ill people are actually more likely to be victims of violence than others.

Other topics in the guide include ways to eliminate stigmatizing language from news coverage, tips for interviewing people who have been personally affected by mental illnesses and ways the media can help change the public perception of mental illness.

“It’s important for journalism students to learn more about reporting on mental health and suicide because they are the professional opinion leaders of society,” says Belhaven University communication major Toni Robinson in the guide.

“Journalists have the power to influence stereotypes about people whether they are positive or negative. That power should be handled responsibly when it comes to issues such as mental health and suicide.”

Click here to view Media Guidebook for Mississippi Journalists

Get Fit-Helping Kids with Epilepsy

Get Fit-Helping Children with Epilepsy

15th Annual Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Psychiatric Disorders in Older Adults

In an effort to address the needs of people suffering from or caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health’s (DMH) Division of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia is presenting the 15th Annual Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Psychiatric Disorders in Older Adults. “Making Every  Day Count” will be held August 20 – 22, 2014 at the MSU Riley Center in Meridian, Mississippi.

August 20 – August 22, 2014

15th Annual Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Psychiatric Disorders in Older Adults

“Making Every Day Count”

MSU Riley Center

Meridian, MS

 

Register online at:  http://www.regonline.com/msalzconference2014

 

2014 Alzheimer’s Conference Host Vendor Packet

 

2014 Alzheimer’s Conference Registration Brochure

 

2014 Alzheimer’s Conference Award Nomination Form

 

General Conference Information

 

Conference CE Information

 

 

 

 

 

7th Annual MS School For Addiction Professionals April 1-4

In an effort to help educate Mississippi’s Addiction, Treatment, and Prevention Professionals, about alcohol and drug abuse and prevention the 7th Annual Mississippi School for Addiction Professionals, hosted by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health’s (DMH) Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services, will be held April 1-4 at the Hattiesburg Convention Center.

 

“We provide a learning experience where professionals or nonprofessionals can come together to learn from innovative individuals who are leaders in the field of substance abuse treatment and prevention,” said Dr. Jerri Avery, DMH Director of the Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services.  “The MS School is an excellent way to educate people on the best practices available to produce the best outcomes for those we serve.”

 

The MS School for Addiction Professionals will offer exciting plenary sessions, special events and a variety of courses in prevention, intervention and treatment, all of which are designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of each participant. The MS School offers many courses that address contemporary topics to help professionals remain abreast as to the latest trends in their areas. The MS School is open to treatment professionals, service providers, educators, parents, nurses, social workers, school counselors, law enforcement, faith based organizations, concerned citizens and others.

 

Keynote presenters include: Dr. Chip Dodd, When Does Therapy Become Therapeutic?; Dr. David Mee-Lee, Understanding DSM-5; David Mineta, Deputy Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy; Dr. Earl Suttle, Enjoying Excellence – Becoming the Best You Can Be; Jamie Huysman, Run Towards the Roar; and Kelly Wilson, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT).

Substance abuse disorders don’t just affect the individual, but their family, friends and the community. Thousands of Mississippians are in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse. They are neighbors, friends and family members leading healthy and productive lives in our communities.

 

More than 23 million people, aged 12 or older, needed treatment for a substance use disorder in the United States in 2007, and in Mississippi alone, 183,000 people and their families are affected by this disease. Each year, the alcohol and drug residential treatment centers in Mississippi certified by DMH’s Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Services, provide residential treatment to more than 6,000 Mississippians suffering from substance abuse and dependence problems.

 

For more information about The Mississippi School for Addiction Professionals, contact 601-359-1288 or visit www.themsschool.ms.gov. If you or someone you know is in need of treatment, call the DMH’s Helpline at 1-877-210-8513.

DMH Mobile Crisis Response Teams

DMH Mobile Crisis Response Teams

DMH Celebrates National Recovery Month

Ask your friend or neighbor if they have been touched by substance abuse or mental illness in any way and the answer is almost always – ‘yes.’ Substance abuse and mental health issues are serious public health problems in Mississippi. In 2012, an estimated 199,000 Mississippians needed treatment services for alcohol and drug use and more than 165,000 people for a mental health issue.
 
During September, Mississippi joins the nation in celebrating National Recovery Month. Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Recovery is unique to each individual and can truly only be defined by the individual themselves. What might be recovery for one person may be only part of the process for another. Supports and services help people with mental illness and substance abuse issues in their recovery journeys.
 
Mississippian David Connell says his experiences and struggles during his recovery journey have allowed him to share his story with others and to make a positive impact. “To me, recovery means being able to make a meaningful contribution,” said Connell, a Certified Peer Support Specialist. “What really worked for me in my recovery journey was having structure and purpose in my life. That has allowed me to make a positive impact and work to decrease the stigma associated with mental health.”
 
To celebrate recovery, the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Mississippi Peer Support Specialist Network is continuing their public awareness campaign, Think Recovery. During the next year, all DMH certified providers will be encouraged to continue educate their staff on the 10 + 1 Components of Recovery. These components include: Self-Direction, Individualized and Person-Centered, Empowerment, Holistic, Non-Linear, Strengths-Based, Peer Support, Respect, Responsibility, Hope, and Resiliency.
 
Gulf Coast resident Melody Worsham says the road to recovery isn’t always perfect, but you learn from the trials and continue with the journey. “When a traveler pulls off to the side of the road to fix a tire, we do not consider that a failed trip, and we would not declare that the person will not make it back on the road,” said Worsham, President of the Mississippi Peer Support Specialist Network. “I have never heard of anyone who pulls off the road and decides to stay there. Traveling through life is like that. Sometimes we get a flat and linger at a plateau of recovery until repairs can be made. Sometimes we go too fast and pay the penalty. Other times, we limp along the shoulder until we can get to a rest stop and refuel. And then there are times when the road conditions couldn’t be more perfect. It isn’t just the perfect road trip that we count as recovery. The entire trip is recovery as long as we keep our destination in focus.”
 
Videos of personal stories of recovery and community integration will be highlighted each month during the next year in conjunction with the Think Recovery campaign. 
 
Recovery not only benefits the individual, it benefits the entire community. One of the first steps is to understand that behavioral health is an essential part of overall health. Most people don’t think twice about seeking treatment for diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure or other health conditions. People should seek treatment for substance abuse and mental health with the same urgency as they would any other health condition.
 
“After nine years in recovery, I have learned that you have to take action, realize it’s ok to ask for help, set a goal, and get involved with helping others,” said June Boudreaux, Certified Peer Support Specialist. “It’s about how to cope and face problems that come up in your everyday life. Recovery is about living a good, productive life. I’m not living in the problem anymore; I’m living in the solution.”
 
The Mississippi Peer Support Specialist Network are first degree family members and/or people living in recovery with mental illness, substance abuse, and intellectual and developmental disabilities that provide support to others who can benefit from their lived experiences. If you or someone you know is in need of services and supports, call the DMH’s 24 hour-a-day, 7 days a week at 1-877-210-8513 or visit www.dmh.ms.gov. 
 
For more information about Think Recovery, click here http://www.dmh.ms.gov/think-recovery/.  

Raise Alzheimer’s Awareness By Painting It Purple September 20

The Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH), Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter, and the UMMC MIND Center  wants Mississippians to help paint the state purple on September 20 in honor of Alzheimer’s Action Day.
 
Mississippians are encouraged to wear purple and display purple ribbons/bows on their homes and offices to show their support for people with Alzheimer’s disease and the loved ones who care for them. People are also encouraged to host a Paint It Purple! event in their city and/or workplace.
 
“Paint It Purple! is about increasing awareness of this devastating disease,” said Kathy Van Cleave, Director of DMH’s Division of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementia. “By opening up the dialogue, we can bring Alzheimer’s the attention it deserves. We are doing a lot to encourage awareness, education, and support, but there is so much more that needs to be done.”
 
The emotional, physical and financial toll can be difficult for the estimated 53,000 Mississippians diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2010, there were 916 Alzheimer’s disease related deaths in Mississippi. By 2025, it is estimated more than 65,000 Mississippians will have Alzheimer’s disease.
 
“These figures are not simply statistics,” said Patty Dunn, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter. “It is a mother or a father, a brother or a sister or a friend.  This global Alzheimer’s disease epidemic demands an enormous amount of attention.  Paint It Purple!  is a giant leap towards raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.  The Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter is proud to stand beside DMH and wear purple with a purpose.”
 
According to the National Alzheimer’s Association warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease include:
•             Memory loss that disrupts daily life
•             Challenges in planning or solving problems
•             Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
•             Confusion with time or place
•             Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
•             New problems with words in speaking or writing
•             Misplacing things or losing the ability to retrace steps
•             Decreased or poor judgment
•             Withdrawal from work or social activities
•             Changes in mood and personality
 
For more information, contact DMH at 601-359-1288 or the Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter at 601-987-0020 or visit www.dmh.ms.gov. Let us know how you chose to Paint It Purple!  Submit your photo to the Division of Alzheimer’s at kathy.vancleave@dmh.state.ms.us

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