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February 22, 2022

The Ally: Mississippi Mental Health in the News

This week's edition of the Ally is filled with news - literally. We've gathered recent news articles about the Mississippi mental health system. We hope that reading them will help each of you put together a picture of our current system and how to address its challenges and make the most of its opportunities.

We've highlighted one news story about a lawsuit that Disability Rights Mississippi (DRMS) has filed. In addition to news about the case, we also want our readers to understand the role of DRMS. Every state is federally mandated to have a protection and advocacy organization that protects the rights of people with disabilities, including when they are in facilities. DRMS is that agency for Mississippi. We encourage you to read more about the role and history of protection and advocacy agencies. Remember that you can contact DRMS if you are concerned about your child or loved one's care in a facility.

We are also happy to share with you a brief video about mental health and Black History Month that one of our current interns, Janiya Jordan, created. We appreciate her creativity, initiative and thoughtfulness. 

This past week we faced the sad news of learning a young person in Jackson died by suicide. There are no words. Our hearts are with her family. This week's resource section focuses on support for people who are feeling suicidal.

There's still time to register for our Virtual Leadership Training on February 24 at 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and February 25 at 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. CST. Please join us for the Mississippi Thrive! Early Childhood Health & Development Summit in the COVID Era on March 4 at 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. CST. Please check out our events section for more training and learning opportunities.
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[top photo by priscilla-du-preez via unsplash]


Mississippi news organizations have published quite a bit of news about the state’s mental health system over the past few weeks.
The Columbus Dispatch has a story about problems at state-run psychiatric facilities that people are reporting to Disability Rights Mississippi.
Families as Allies intern and Jackson State University student Janiyah Jordan interviews fellow JSU students about mental health issues in the Black community.


Participants will explore a healthy lifestyle, create personal wellness goals and understand how to develop a plan to get and stay well.
Join the MS Parent Training Information Center and learn what you need to keep and tips on how to keep everything together.
This training is for parents, caregivers and staff members who are interested in learning to serve on decision-making groups and committees.
This Webinar will highlight the role of parents and families in supporting school safety efforts at the local and state levels.
Participants will enjoy a training session on the basics of advocating for suicide prevention and current policy issues impacting our state.
This webinar will focus on the impact of COVID-19 on family mental and emotional health and well-being and discuss strategies for resiliency.
Participants are presented with strategies to strengthen community efforts and plans to combat local street gangs and address youth violence.
Family members may drop in to share any concerns or get feedback from others about handling different situations.
Monthly gatherings will focus on a specific topic, provide tips and tools, and offer the opportunity to network with other families.
National and state experts will provide information on children’s optimal health and development during the era of COVID.


A suicide attempt left 16-year-old varsity cheerleader, Emma Benoit, paralyzed, but propelled her on a mission to use her painful experience to help others f...
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support via text message. We’re here for everything: anxiety, depression, suicide, school. Text HOME to 741741.
As someone interested in mental health, you may know the numbers to the Crisis Text Line (text BRAVE to 741741) and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) by heart. What you may not know is what happens — and what doesn’t happen — once you pick up your phone to reach out in a crisis.
The work we do focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those who have lost someone to suicide.

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