Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Through a new partnership, Mississippi State is expanding its telemental health services to serve out-of-state and international students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeremy Baham, MSU’s assistant vice president for student support and well-being, explained that the agreement between MSU and international telemental health company Morneau Shepell improves counseling availability for domestic students residing in other states, as well as international students. MSU counselors are limited to practicing in states where they are licensed, so the additional service creates expanded accessibility to students regardless of location.
Through Morneau Shepell’s Student Support Program, or My SSP, students can receive free, confidential support—24 hours a day, seven days a week—via phone (1-866-743-7732), web (us.myissp.com) or the My SSP app. Kim Kavalsky, mental health outreach coordinator for MSU’s Department of Health Promotion and Wellness, said the app is available in English, Spanish, French, simplified Chinese, Korean and Arabic, so students can connect with a counselor who speaks their preferred language.
More about the My SSP app, including step-by-step instructions for getting started, can be found at https://vimeo.com/277107632/9e2b1d09a0.
Director Lu Switzer said MSU Student Counseling Services closed its physical campus office at Hathorn Hall following Gov. Tate Reeves’s shelter-in-place order. However, SCS is continuing to provide telemental health services Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. via the free, confidential Doxy.me Video Meeting Platform.
MSU students currently residing in Mississippi and on campus can get connected to help by visiting counseling.msstate.edu and clicking on the Mississippi State Virtual Waiting Room link. When the next clinician is available, the student will enter a private room to discuss his or her needs.
For assistance after hours or on weekends, students can call 662-325-2091.
Some helpful tips include:
—Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
—Take care of physical health by eating well and getting exercise.
—Keep a sense of hope and positivity with thoughts and interactions.
—Even when practicing social distancing, connect with others. Make time to have phone calls or video chats with friends and loved ones.
The DMH Helpline (1-877-210-8513) will remain staffed at all times during the pandemic, and Mississippians can call this number for information about nearby services or support. Additional resources can be found online at www.mentalhealthms.com and www.standupms.org.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline also is available at 1-800-985-5990.
For updated MSU information and coronavirus resources, including lists of FAQs for students, faculty and staff, visit https://www.msstate.edu/coronavirus. Follow MSU on social media @msstate.
For more on MSU’s University Health Services, visit www.health.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.