Kim Kavalsky (Staff)

Kim Kavalsky sitting in a chair on a sunny porch front.

During her four years as a mental health outreach coordinator at Mississippi State, Kim Kavalsky’s passion has grown, not only for her profession, but also for her university.

Originally from Tupelo, Kavalsky has been in Starkville since 1999.

“It is such an honor to be able to work for your alma mater,” said the MSU graduate who holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university.

In addition to talking with students about mental health, Kavalsky also coordinates events and speakers on campus to spread awareness. Additionally, she serves as a counselor one day a week at the MSU Student Counseling Center.    

Kavalsky works to make students aware of the counseling resources available to them, as well as to diminish the stigma many times associated with mental illness.

“It’s happening; we can’t ignore it—let’s talk about it,” she said.

She believes that mental illness has touched peoples’ lives in many different ways whether they realize it or not. She said if she helps just one person with what she does, she will consider it a great success.

Kavalsky said she enjoys her job’s special emphasis on students. She believes it is important to reach out to college students in this phase of life, and to teach them how to deal with problems—making them more resilient into adulthood.     

She feels Mississippi State has improved its emphasis on mental health and that discussions on the topic increase each day.

“College students these days are much more aware of mental health and don’t place as much of a stigma around it.”

Kavalsky has a simple message to MSU students.

“I know we say ‘Maroon Family’ a lot, but, it really is true. A family is someone who looks out for you and helps you. Through the mental health resources offered at MSU, you are being looked out for and cared for a great deal.”