Skip to main content
The official website of the State of Mississippi

The Mississippi State Hospital (MSH) Doctoral Internship in Health Services Psychology is passionately committed to creating an environment within which individual differences are celebrated and diversity is the overarching goal. In fact, we genuinely believe that our departmental cohesiveness is directly attributable to our commitment to a diversification of and respect for differing backgrounds, personal characteristics, experiences, beliefs, and values. This commitment is evident throughout our policies and practices in both the training program and the Behavioral Health Services Department (BHS) as a whole. It is through this intentional diversification of personal backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and characteristics that the program excels in areas of professional development, cultural awareness, and personal growth

Given the history of our area, we feel morally and ethically driven to honor individual differences and diversity, and for us this extends well beyond race and ethnicity. Such a commitment has become even more pronounced in recent years as the nation has begun to struggle with longstanding challenges with equity and diversity. This firmly held philosophy in which we seek to have a departmental community that is inclusive, supportive, and diverse serves as the foundation for our training program, and it is reflective of our commitment to attracting and successfully retaining a diverse staff and internship applicant pool.

The program ensures that it prepares interns to navigate cultural and individual differences in research and practice both through specific efforts and as a natural byproduct of our training philosophy. In our program, we seek to support and develop our interns into professionals who are “other aware” and self-reflective in every area of practice. Our aim is not only to help develop interns into professionals who are mindfully inclusive of others’ differing backgrounds, characteristics, or stations, we are also devoted to helping our interns understand the critical role they will have throughout their careers as supervising professionals who will set a tone of inclusivity and respect for individual differences. By establishing this in our program as a developmental necessity, we seek each year to train interns into professionals who understand the value of diversity and who will seek to build teams in the future who are culturally aware and intentionally focused on celebrating uniqueness.

As this is a defining philosophy, we feel we have a responsibility to incorporate diversity and individual differences into every aspect of the training program.  Throughout the internship year, interns are exposed to a variety of didactic and professional development topics that provide an opportunity to gain relevant experiential knowledge about the inherent impact of cultural and individual differences on psychological phenomena, research driven knowledge, and professional practice.  More specifically, in each of our didactic seminars, grand rounds, quarterly workshops, and professional trainings, diversity is either at the core of the training or it is brought into the post-training discussions as a major component of the subject being discussed.  The aim of such efforts is twofold.  First, bringing diversity and individual differences into every such training experience helps to establish such discussions as normative, thus further reinforcing this as an expected standard of practice for psychologists.  Second, through such a focus, our interns are given an opportunity to broaden their understanding of the undeniable value of individual differences, both in their clinical work and as they prepare to become future leaders in the field.

In addition to the training program’s focus on individual differences and diversity in our seminars, workshops, and professional trainings, we also dedicate ourselves to maintaining an atmosphere in which supervision is viewed as safe, open, and collaborative. Throughout our supervisory structure, faculty members consistently promote discussions of diversity and individual differences, cultural awareness of oneself and of others, and the dynamic interaction of backgrounds in therapy and supervision. Due to the varying and diverse characteristics of our patient population (racial, economic, educational, spiritual/religious, diagnostic, etc.), such focused discussions are essential and commonplace. Beyond simply gaining an understanding of these individual differences and the value they hold for the person receiving treatment, we help interns learn to fully engage in self-reflection related to their own backgrounds, internal reactions, and value conflicts.  

The MSH training program avoids any actions that would restrict access on grounds that are irrelevant to success in internship training or a career in professional psychology. It is the policy of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (MDMH), MSH, and the training program to recruit, employ, and promote qualified employees without regard to age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, language, national origin, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status. The MDMH also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which provides a clear mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. We take this mandate seriously, and this is evident within our department, as we employ various individuals who qualify for an ADA status.  In addition, all position announcements for the hospital adhere to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) policies which emphasize non-discrimination and fairness regarding recruitment and employment. Both the host institution and the training program adhere to these policies, as noted in the training program brochures, handbooks, websites, and position announcements.



Mississippi State Hospital

Psychology Internship Program

PO Box 157-A 

Building 51

Whitfield, MS 39193

(601) 351-8528