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Social Work Institutes and Centers

Programs to Improve Mississippians' Quality of Life

Faculty and staff in the USM School of Social Work lead a number of research and applied programs that enhance the quality of life for thousands of Mississippians. With funding through a variety of grants, our programs have connected children and families to affordable insurance; created person-centered training programs for case managers and support staff working with Medicaid patients and children and families with mental health issues; tracked state data related to the opioid epidemic and human trafficking; and developed a model for more integrated mental and behavioral health in a primary care setting.

Program Highlights

Learn more about four of our projects that are making a difference from the Delta to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

CHRT is an interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers, trafficking survivors and students who participate in the collection, analysis and evaluation of human trafficking data from Mississippi’s state and local agencies. By helping streamline data collection and management, their efforts help prevent the spread of misinformation and inaccurate data. Their findings seek to inform evidence-based education and trainings for agency personnel with a goal of accelerating the development of Mississippi’s anti-human trafficking efforts. Click here for more information.

MS-PCPI helps individuals previously in institutionalized care gain more control over the direction of their lives. The program has trained over 4,000 case managers and support coordinators from state agencies and private businesses that run assisted-living facilities. These staff work with individuals receiving benefits from one of five long-term care waivers from the Mississippi Division of Medicaid.

Staff learn how to shift their emphasis to the person and his/her family, understanding the wants, needs, and interests of an independent individual rather than one-size-fits-all services. The goal is to minimize institutionalized residency where possible, allowing the person to have more access to a life based in the home or in a community setting.

Preliminary data indicate trainees have improved their knowledge and skills, while waiver recipients’ and their families’ satisfaction has increased. Click here for more information.

The Mississippi Wraparound Institute offers training, outreach, and technical assistance with the wraparound care model to help address children’s mental health care. The MWI is a joint project with the Mississippi Division of Medicaid and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health.

Wraparound is a holistic process and approach to care planning that differs from traditional case management or services to families and children. Wraparound is community-based, collaborative, and allows people to work together to support and empower families by building a team of committed family, friends, community members, and professionals.

The wraparound approach helps reduce out-of-home placements; allows families to choose the best mental health treatments and services for their children; better integrates family and community input; focuses on strengths; and works across system partners such as education, juvenile justice, child protective services, and mental health providers. Click here for more information.

Four state agencies responsible for addressing the opioid crisis have partnered with the School of Social Work to better organize, analyze, and make accessible the data they gather.

Working with the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Mississippi State Department of Health, and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, school personnel receive data and generate quarterly reports that will begin to show trends over time that agencies can act on. A web-based data dashboard is also planned.

Data include the number of opioid prescriptions, number of opioid dosage units, suspected opioid overdose deaths, number of administrations of overdose reversal drug Naloxone, number of admissions for opioid treatment, number of drug-related arrests and pharmacy burglaries, and county-level statistics.

Contact Us

Social Work Institutes and Centers
250 Joseph Green Hall (JGH)

Hattiesburg Campus

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