Eligibility for Services

Student Counseling Services is available to currently enrolled students of the University of Southern Mississippi. All students at the University of Southern Mississippi are eligible for 6 counseling sessions per semester at no cost. In special cases, a student may be seen for more than 6 sessions to ensure continuity of appropriate mental health care.

Students who were recently enrolled or are planning to enroll at the University of Southern Mississippi may be seen in special cases. These sessions may be to promote a healthy transition to the university, or ensure continuity of mental health care for an outgoing student.

Partners of students will also be seen but only as part of couples counseling. If partners need individual service they will be referred to community agencies.

There are no fees for attending counseling at Student Counseling Services. Student Counseling Services operates as a part of the Student Affairs Division of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Scope of Care at Student Counseling Services:

Student Counseling Services makes every effort to assist USM students within the limitations of our scope of care. While the short-term counseling we provide is indicated for a variety of concerns, some problems in living require referral to other community resources. A determination whether or not we will refer to an outside resource will be made in your initial visit.

Below are some examples of mental health concerns that are beyond our scope of care and referred to outside agencies:

  • Students presenting with a history of repeated suicide attempts or chronic suicidality
  • Students presenting with significant self-harming behaviors
  • Students presenting with a pattern of progressively deteriorating mental or emotional functioning that requires intensive mental health treatment
  • Students presenting with psychotic symptoms without willingness to remain on medication for stabilization of symptoms
  • Students unable or unwilling to provide the necessary information to thoroughly assess symptoms
  • Students presenting with drug and/or alcohol problems such as substance dependence, primary substance abuse, and a history of failed substance abuse treatments 
  • Students presenting with a long-standing eating disorder with no period of remission, or that may pose a medical danger

Also, please note that Student Counseling Services typically refers prospective clients requesting the following specialized mental health services to other community agencies:

  • Students requesting formal psycho-educational, neuropsychological, or career assessment
  • Students seeking a psychological assessment for employment or legal purposes
  • Students seeking psychotherapy or assessment that is mandated by the court system