Mental health services in Mississippi are offered through the state’s regional Community Mental Health Center system. Regional CMHCs are run by local commissions that help meet local community needs. The Mississippi Department of Mental Health certifies, monitors, and supports local CMHCs.
“A CMHC serves every county in Mississippi,” said Katie Storr, Chief of Staff for DMH. “For someone seeking help for the first time, your local CMHC is the best starting point to find treatment for mental health needs.”
A CMHC will offer individual and group therapy, addiction treatment options, and in some districts, support for intellectual and developmental disabilities.
CMHCs also coordinate local offerings of Mississippi’s intensive community services. These services help patients who have traditionally struggled in outpatient settings remain in their communities. In many rural areas of the state, special teams are designed to reach areas without a high number of local full-time mental health staff providers.
“Many people think this level of treatment is only available in one of the state mental hospitals, but the intensive community-based services help someone undergoing mental health treatment stay at home, in school, or even working at their regular job,” said Storr. “It’s a high impact return on investment for Mississippi communities.”
DMH and many mental health practitioners encourage people to think of their overall health and well-being as including both their physical health and mental health. Individuals should be aware of their mental health in much the same way they focus on blood pressure, cholesterol, heart rates, or their weight.
“The discussion of mental health symptoms and mental health and substance use diagnoses should become as prevalent as the discussion of heart disease and diabetes,” said Dr. Melody Madaris, Executive Director of Communicare. Communicare, the Region 2 CMHC, is based in Oxford and serves surrounding counties.
“Your local CMHC is there to help anyone in their greatest time of need to help get people back to a place where they want to be,” said Madaris.
Find your Community Mental Health Center at hopeisherems.com/cmhc. If you’re having thoughts of suicide or any kind of mental distress, call or text 988 or chat online at 988lifeline.org.