South Mississippi State Hospital
823 Highway 589, Purvis, Mississippi
601-794-0100 • (601) 794-0210 (FAX)
Respect • Compassion • Professionalism • Education • Teamwork • Trust • Communication

Family Education Meeting

Please join us Sunday, March 23, at 2:30 p.m. (following patient visitation) for the monthly Family Education meeting. The session will be a panel discussion with members of the SMSH clinical staff. (Future Meetings: April 13 and May 18)

Light refreshments will be served.

Family Education Meetings are a way to share information with our patients' family members about the hospital, mental illness, and other information that may be helpful. Family Education Meetings are open to family members of current and/or fomer SMSH patients.

Family Education

The Admissions Process:

All patients are admitted through Chancery Court commitment. Once an admission appointment has been set, the county sheriff transports the patient to South Mississippi State Hospital for admission. It is not necessary for the patient’s family to accompany the patient. Social Services will contact the family once the patient gives written permission to do so. All visitation of patients occurs during Saturday, Sunday and holiday visitation hours.

All of the patient’s valuables are secured. Patients are permitted a maximum of six (6) sets of clothes. The family may bring items to the Security Department in the front lobby of the hospital to be delivered to the patient. Food, drink or personal items will not be allowed into visitation.

The patient designates in a release form those family members they would like to see during visitation or those family members with whom telephone contact is desired. Telephone privileges and visitation privileges may have to be restricted depending on the patient’s condition and treatment plan.

During the first few days after admission, the patient is involved in an intensive evaluation process by the SMSH treatment team. The patient wears hospital-supplied clothing for the first few days and may be restricted to an observation area. A level system is used to determine patient privileges. As patients participate in their care and improve, their level status changes and their privileges may increase.

A treatment plan is developed for each patient. Patients are involved in group therapy, recreational therapy, patient education sessions and community meetings depending on the patient’s needs and treatment plan.

Patients and, when appropriate, their families are informed about safe and effective use of medication, outcomes of care and potential drug-food interactions.

Patients and families are integral members of the healthcare team. Staff will describe what patient and family responsibilities are regarding the patient’s ongoing health care needs and give them the knowledge and skills needed to carry out their responsibilities.

Back to Top


Only two visitors per patient are allowed per visitation date.

Visitation begins at 1:15 p.m. and ends promptly at 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Families can begin signing in at 12:45 p.m.

No visitor will be allowed into the visitation area to see a patient after 1:15 p.m.

No food or drink will be allowed into visitation.

No personal items allowed (keys, phone, pocket knives, cameras, purses, packages or flowers).

No visitors under 12 years of age (during regular visitation).

No profane language or inappropriate physical contact.

Visitors should be dressed appropriately. No halter tops, short shorts, or other revealing dress.

Visitors should refrain from visiting if they have a cough, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or any other signs and symptoms of an infection.

Once signed in, visitors should not return to their vehicles. Visitors will not be allowed to loiter about the grounds or go into the courtyard area.

* NOTE: Special visitation may be scheduled for children under the age of 12 years at the discretion of the patient’s doctor.

To ensure the safety of our patients and visitors, violation of these guidelines will result in the loss of visitation privileges. You will be asked to sign a confidentiality statement before your visit. Please honor the privacy of patients and refrain from divulging any information about any patients you may encounter during your visit.

Back to Top

Can I contact my family member?

The patient designates those family members with whom he/she would like to visit or talk. The patient is given a telephone code to give to family members. The staff will request the telephone code before speaking with a family member. A telephone is available for the patient to contact family members. Mail can be sent to the hospital address and will be delivered to patients if the patient wishes. No flowers or balloons can be delivered to patients.

Back to Top

How long will my family member be at SMSH?

The patients’ length of stay is determined by the patient’s response to treatment. SMSH is an acute psychiatric hospital, so, generally, patients stay for two to three weeks. Those patients requiring long-term treatment may require transfer to a facility that provides continued treatment.

Back to Top

What happens when my family member is ready to leave?

When the treatment team makes the decision that it is appropriate for the patient to be discharged, the family is contacted. The patient, family member and members of the treatment team may meet to discuss the patient’s aftercare. Depending on the patient’s condition, an outpatient treatment plan is developed and explained to the family. Many patients go home on medications, and it is vital that these medications be taken on a daily basis. Patients are discharged from the main lobby of the hospital at the front entrance.

Back to Top

Can I talk to the SMSH staff about my family member?

While SMSH staff recognizes that you are concerned about your family member, we are restricted, by the patient’s confidentiality rights, to talking with only those family members the patient chooses to receive information. The patient signs a release form designating the family members with whom the staff may speak.

Back to Top

Will my family member be billed for this hospital stay?

The patient is responsible for payment of all services received at South Mississippi State Hospital. However, whenever possible, SMSH will bill insurance or Medicare. Any balance left owing is the patient’s responsibility. Monthly payment plans are available. Discounts may be available based on income.

Back to Top

What does my family member need to bring?

Patients NEED to bring the following items:

  • Picture identification
  • Insurance card(s)
  • Medicare card
  • Social Security card
  • Six (6) sets of clothes
  • Two (2) pair of shoes
  • Two (2) pair of pajamas
  • One (1) pair of house shoes

Patients DO NOT need to bring the following:

  • Food or candy
  • Electrical items
  • Lighters or matches
  • Tobacco products
  • Weapons or any item that can be used as a weapon
  • Name brand or any shoes similar to crocs

Contact Information:
South Mississippi State Hospital 601.794.0100
B Unit (Males) 601.794.0232
C Unit (Females) 601.794.0234

Back to Top

Anyone with concerns that have not been addressed by the facility staff about the safety or quality of care provided to South Mississippi State Hospital patients may report those concerns to:

Joint Commission
One Renaissance Boulevard
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181-4294