MSU psychology clinic offers free mental health services for youth

Teal, yellow and white "Free Mental Health Services" graphic with cartoon image of a brain

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—With more than $200,000 from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), Mississippi State University’s Psychology Clinic is providing free mental health services for Mississippi’s youth, offering mental health screening, consultation and therapy.

The award was granted to Department of Psychology faculty members Michael Nadorff and Melanie Walsh—co-principal investigators—along with department head Mitchell Berman and director of the Psychology Clinic Emily Stafford, in partnership with MSU Extension, which  provides material dissemination and outreach.

Telehealth at the Psychology Clinic began offering free services for youth ages 6-17 in March and the new funding helps continue the free services through December, with a possible extension into 2022. Telehealth services are available via smartphone, tablet or a computer.

Walsh and Chris Ellzey, both staff counselors for the clinic, serve as facilitators of the services. To schedule an appointment, email or call (662) 325-0895. Only parents of minors may request services.

“We know that our children have been negatively impacted by the changes in structure and major shifts in daily life due to the pandemic, and we are hoping to aid in addressing this burden,” said Walsh, the CARES telehealth program director and clinical supervisor. “We are seeing a great deal of anxiety, depression, social and adjustment issues in the youth we are serving.”

“Feeling a bit ‘off’ right now is a normal response given the year that we have lived through,” Walsh said. “Everyone deserves a bit of self-acceptance and grace, even our children and youth.”

Walsh said Mississippi has a shortage of mental healthcare providers, especially those who work with young people.

“Several of the families we are working with have remarked that if these free telehealth services were not available to them, they would not otherwise have access to mental health services for their children. We know we are filling a dire need in the state of Mississippi with this service,” Walsh said.

MSU’s telehealth program also provides services for adults including individual therapy services such as couples, individual, group and family, as well as behavioral sleep therapy services. Payment is based on a sliding scale. To initiate services, call the clinic at (662) 325-0270. For more information, visit

Part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Psychology is online at

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