Children and Youth Services

Addressing the complex mental health needs of children, youth, and families is fundamental to the future of Mississippi. Nearly 35,000 of Mississippi’s children and youth have severe and persistent mental health needs which can impact every aspect of their lives.

Mental health is important at every stage in life. A child’s mental health can affect their mood and behavior and the way they think and feel about themselves. The need for comprehensive, intensive mental health services coordinated with high quality services from education, health, Medicaid, foster care, juvenile justice and vocational rehabilitation agencies places upon our communities a critical responsibility to claim these children, youth and families as our own.

A variety of services and supports are available for children and youth. Families who need mental help services or support for their children can call the Mississippi Department of Mental Health’s Office of Consumer Supports at 1-877-210-8513 for more information. You may also enter your zip code in the Where to Go section on the Homepage for DMH certified providers in your area.

children services

Services for Children and Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbance

• Therapeutic Group Home

• Treatment Foster Care

• Prevention/Early Intervention

• Emergency/ Crisis Services

• Crisis Stabilization Services

• Targeted Case Management

• Peer Support (Family & Youth)

• Community Support Services

• Day Treatment

• Outpatient Therapy (Individual, Family and Group)

• Physician/Psychiatric Services

• MAP (Making A Plan) Teams

• Family Education and Support

• Wraparound Facilitation

• Intensive Outpatient Psychiatric Services

• Respite Services

MAP (Making a Plan) Teams

MAP Teams are local multidisciplinary teams that review cases concerning children and youth who have SED and who are at immediate risk for an inappropriate 24 hour institutional placement. The members of these teams meet on a monthly basis to identify community-based services and resources that may divert children from inappropriate inpatient care.

For a listing of MAP teams, see the Children and Youth Services Directory.

Crossover XPand

Since 2009, System of Care(SOC) sites across the state have offered Mississippi’s youth the services and supports they need to thrive at home, at school, and in the community. In 2013, DMH and Weems Community Mental Health Center received a four-year System of Care grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for youth and young adults. Project XPand a NFusion site, served youth and young adults, ages 14-21, with serious emotional disturbance who are transitioning from child mental health services to adult mental health services to prepare them for independent living. The XPand grant ended in September 2017, with all goals achieved, numerous positive outcomes, and 449 enrolled – 128% of the enrollment goal of 350.

In June 2017, DMH received notice of a four-year grant award for Crossover XPand, which proposes to expand System of Care programs to prioritize underserved children and youth involved in the child welfare/advocacy system and/or the juvenile justice system. The proposal includes a redesign of service systems at the local level to integrate targeted case managers in strategic intercept points within the system of care. Subgrants were awarded to Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources (Forrest, Jones, Lamar and Marion Counties) and Weems Mental Health (Lauderdale County) to provide the service delivery portion of the grant.

As of August 14, 2020, the Crossover XPand System of Care has enrolled 691 youth and/or children participants, exceeding its annual and 4-year intake coverage goal (400 youth).

CHAMP: Child Access to Mental Health and Psychiatry

Click here to visit CHAMP online

The Child Access to Mental Health and Psychiatry service, known as CHAMP, is a consultation and educational service for pediatric primary care providers in Mississippi.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry, in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, has received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide free and same-day telephone consultations to pediatric primary care providers in Mississippi. These consultations will be offered with an educational focus and will be performed primarily by UMMC child psychiatrists and child psychologists.

The CHAMP team supports primary care providers (doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) with questions about mental health care such as diagnostic clarification, medication adjustment, or treatment planning. Click here to visit UMMC for more information.

Shatter the Silence

Shatter the Silence is a campaign of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health to encourage young people to talk through their feelings with friends and trusted adults, and to also encourage those friends to show their concern and support. By working together, we can help those in need to realize it’s OK to reach out for help. Click the image below for more information.