The University of Southern Mississippi hosted its annual Fall Wellness Festival on Oct. 19 at Spirit Park on its Hattiesburg campus.
The event had food, music, games and prizes for students to enjoy. There were also a variety of booths at the event, where students got information about a variety of mental and physical health services around the area, as well as received a variety of resources to improve their overall wellness.
“The Fall Wellness Festival is about getting students engaged in wellness related activities,” Casey Johnson, the event’s main coordinator, said. “We typically do one of these each fall and then another in the spring.”
The event also featured guest speaker Jordan Burnham, who shared his story about dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts at Spirit Park’s Southern Station. Burnham is a public speaker and a mental health advocate, wanting to help others by sharing his own journey to recovery. He was also nominated for an Emmy for ‘Unbreakable’, which was created for ESPN’s ‘E:60’, and was invited to speak at the White House’s National Conference on Mental Health.
Listed below are the various organizations who participated in the event, the specific services they offer and their contact information for anyone interested in learning more.
- The University of Southern Mississippi Student Counseling Services provides free counseling for currently enrolled students. In addition to the contacts below, you can also visit them in person at Bond Hall South’s East Entrance.
Phone: 601-266-4829 (non-emergency), 601-606-4357 (HELP) (emergency)
- The University of Southern Mississippi’s Audiology Clinic provides audiological services and evaluations to guests, while The Speech and Language Clinic offers language therapy services. For more information, call
- The Moffitt Health Center provides health care services to students residing both on and off campus. In addition to the contacts below, you can also visit them in person in Century Park South.
- The Title IX Office helps survivors of sexual or gender-based harassment and violence file reports or seek out similar services. In addition to the contacts below, you can also visit them in person within the Cook Library on the Hattiesburg campus and within Hardy Hall on the Gulf Park campus.
- The Marriage and Family Therapy Master program offered here also offers counseling services. You can either call the office number listed below or Stacie Frey, the MFT Clinic’s Director, by email at Stacie.Frey@usm.edu or by phone at 601-266-4309.
- The National Donate Life Registry raises awareness for ways people can donate organs, eyes and tissues to save lives. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @DonateLife.
- Amerigroup is an insurance plan that partners with organizations across the state to provide a variety of quality healthcare services for all communities. Anyone interested in partnering with Amerigroup can contact Senior Government Relations Director Tara Clark at email@example.com.
- The Mind Elevation (ME) Project, a subset of Teen Health Mississippi, is a program that helps Mississippi youth have access to mental, sexual and reproductive health services. You can also follow the project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @mindelevationms.
- The AIDS Services Coalition is a non-profit organization that provides services and support to people affected by HIV/AIDS. The organization also provides access to PrEP, a daily pill that helps protect against HIV, and Safety: Delivered, which gives out free condoms to people who otherwise would not have access. The phone and email listed below will get you in direct contact with HIV Testing Coordinator Natasha Thomas.
- Hope Clinic: Providing Clarity with Compassion provides health services for women, including free pregnancy tests. They have a physical Hattiesburg clinic at 216 South 27th Avenue. If you want to get in touch with Executive Director Karen Sims directly, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone: 601-264-2181 (accessible by call) or 669-500-8378 (TEST) (accessible by text)
- Forest Health Pine Grove offers a wide variety of behavioral health and addiction treatment services. They have a physical Hattiesburg clinic at 218 South 28th Avenue.
- Planned Parenthood Generation Action, which helps advocate for reproductive rights, also offers free menstrual products and safe sex supplies. You can also follow their various social media pages @PPact.
- Active Minds is a non-profit organization that educates and brings awareness on mental health issues. You can also follow them on Instagram and Twitter @Active_Minds and on Facebook @ActiveMindsInc.
- The Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative offers a variety of network community health centers for preventative and primary health care, regardless of insurance status. In addition to the contact information below, you can also contact Community Health Worker Jemarquise Newell directly at email@example.com.
- Mississippi INBRE IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Outreach Scholars Program offers a research, community-based summer program for Mississippi and Louisiana college students. You can get in touch with Sermin Aras at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the program, and apply at www.msinbre.org/outreach-scholars.
- The Forrest General Hospital’s LiveWell Center of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Outpatient Nutrition Services helps outpatients managing heart and lung disease.
Phone: 601-288-3873 (for Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation), 601-288-3851 (for Outpatient Nutrition Services)
- The Open Arms Healthcare Center offers free preventive health screening. You can also participate in the ‘Becoming a Healthier U’ program, which helps with mental health and sexual counseling. They have a physical location at 1711 Hardy Street and a Facebook group at Open Arms Healthcare Center.