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USM School of Psychology Launches Behavioral Health Clinic

Thu, 08/27/2020 - 15:46pm | By: David Tisdale

USM Behavioral Health ClinicIn an effort to fully maximize its available expertise into one unit, The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) School of Psychology recently established the USM Behavioral Clinic (BHC), which is now open to provide services for children, adolescents and adults, as well as members of the USM community.

Those services include individual, child, family, couples and group therapy, comprehensive diagnostic evaluations/ assessments, consultation in various areas, including school and Head Start consultation, parent training, and select pre-employment screenings/evaluations.

Previously, the School of Psychology operated three separate training clinics (Psychology Clinic, Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic, and Pediatric Behavioral Health Clinic) that served individuals in the Pine Belt area and on the Hattiesburg campus for many years.

“While these clinics served our campus and community well, our hope is that by integrating these clinics, we will be able to offer more collaborative treatment approaches, provide specialized care in several areas within one setting, increase training opportunities for our graduate students, and streamline the referral process for providers in our area,” said Dr. Kristy McRaney, director of the Clinic and an assistant clinical professor in the USM School of Psychology.

“Our clinic has a unique ability to capitalize on a variety of expertise within our faculty, and I’m excited to see the positive impact our new training clinic will have in our community and on our campus.”

Many Mississippians face challenges accessing mental health care, often due to costs and a limited number of providers in the state. A 2015 report by SAMHSA indicated approximately 60 percent of individuals in the state with a mental illness do not receive treatment. As such, the faculty, staff, and graduate students at the USM Behavioral Health Clinic are committed to offering quality, evidence-based care for individuals that is affordable, offering a low-cost, flat fee assessments and therapy services on a sliding-scale fee schedule.

“We’re also aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased mental health concerns and more difficulty connecting to mental health resources,” said Dr. McRaney. “With that in mind, we’re proud to offer telehealth services for both therapy and assessments this fall. And, recognizing that scheduling appointments can be difficult, in addition to typical business hours we are open late two nights a week and on select Saturday mornings.

“Knowing how important mental health care is in our state, my hope for our clinic is that we reach individuals who would not have been able to access mental health care otherwise.”

In addition to serving individuals in the community, the USM BHC will continue to offer services to USM students that complement those provided by Student Counseling Services (SCS), the Moffitt Health Center, and others on campus, by offering low-cost options to USM students, faculty, and staff.

“We have a great relationship with Student Counseling Services (SCS) and Moffitt Health Center,” Dr. McRaney said. “I’ve enjoyed collaborating with April Estill (SCS director), Dr. Melissa Roberts (Moffitt Center director) and others at the University as we work to ensure our students, faculty, and staff have the best quality mental health care possible.”

Located in Fritzsche-Gibbs Hall, room 201 on the USM Hattiesburg campus, the days and hours of operation for the USM BHC are as follows:

-Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

-Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

-Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

-Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

-Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.

*Saturday: 8:30 a.m. - 12:30p.m. (*the clinic is open on select Saturdays and closed on Sundays.)

The stated mission of the USM BHC is to increase access to quality mental health care by providing affordable, evidence-based services to children, adolescents, adults, and USM college students, in South Mississippi; training competent and ethical psychologists and mental health counselors in evidenced-based best practice; and contributing to the advancement of cutting-edge research. Clinic staff and graduate students are committed to providing culturally-sensitive care for all members of the communities it serves.

For more information, including to inquire about starting services and information about costs for services, contact the USM BHC at 601. 266.4588; or visit https://www.usm.edu/behavioral-health-clinic/.