MSU expands mental health care services for students

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is expanding student access to comprehensive mental health care through a new partnership.

Dr. Cliff Story, executive director of MSU’s University Health Services, said the agreement between outpatient provider Right Track Medical Group and the university’s John C. Longest Student Health Center improves student availability to psychiatric evaluation, medication management and mental health counseling services.

Story said students can make an appointment for free to see any of the health center’s six physicians and three family nurse practitioners. These professionals can provide general care for common mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression or attention deficit disorder.

If specialized care is required, MSU health center physicians and nurse practitioners can refer students to Right Track Chief Medical Officer and Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Pannel and board-certified Advanced Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Ella Williamson. Both can provide assessment and treatment services to students for a small fee at the health center.

Story said Pannel works on Fridays as an employee in MSU’s clinic, and Williamson is contracted to see student patients Monday-Thursday. Right Track also provides private care to children, teens and adults at its newest local clinic in Starkville at 100 Starr Ave., Suite A, near Oby’s restaurant.

“The demand for psychiatric care has been growing in the last 10 years or so, especially in Mississippi, so partnering with Right Track is important,” Story said. “Working with our MSU counseling center staff and now with Dr. Pannel and Ella, we can make quality mental health services more accessible to our students. I think that will be helpful and reassuring to the parents and families of several patients, especially those who may be many miles away.”

MSU Student Counseling Services also is available to support any students who need assistance. The center is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., for walk-in appointments, and counselors are on call 24-hours a day. Services can be accessed by calling 662-325-2091.

For more information on MSU’s University Health Services, visit To schedule an appointment, call 662-325-7539.

A “Mental Health in Young Adults” resource is available at

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Friday, November 22, 2019 - 8:46 am