VISITATION GUIDELINES FOR THE WHITFIELD CAMPUS
“You are a part of the healing.”

WELCOME

Mississippi State Hospital (MSH) values the important role family and friends play in helping someone with mental illness or drug/alcohol addiction during their recovery.  We encourage you to regularly visit your loved one while he or she is in our care.  This web page offers helpful information to make the most of your visits to MSH.  If you have questions or would like more information, please contact your loved one’s social worker.

All visitors to the MSH Whitfield Campus must pick up a Visitor’s Permit and Visitor Identification Badge from the police officers at the main entrance and return the permit and badge(s) upon leaving the campus.

Psychiatric Buildings, Oak Circle Center, and
Forensic Unit:
1 to 4 pm Monday-Friday
9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

Chemical Dependency Unit

For information on the Chemical Dependency Unit visitation policies and guidelines please call the following numbers.

601-351-8093
B-81
601-351-8007
B-84

Visiting hours and a visitors list will be determined prior to holidays. 

Patients admitted to Male Receiving, Female Receiving, Forensic Unit and the Medical-Psychiatric Unit are not authorized to receive visitors during the first 24 hours following admission.  Exceptions may be made with a physician’s order justifying the change. This is to allow time for the treatment team to asses the patient and for the patient to be oriented to the unit.

For patients on the Forensic Unit, security considerations may determine the duration and frequency of visits.

Based on evaluation of the patient's clinical condition and behavior, a physican may write an order either to allow or to restrict visitors at any time, which may be an exception to standard policy.  The safety of the visitor and best therapeutic interest of the patient will be taken into account.

Visitors who have an obervable and documents adverse effect upon a patient's clinical condition may be subject to visitation restrictions.  The attending physician or his or her designee will explain the restriction to the visitor and document this in the medical record.

Please be advised that patients have the right to refuse visitors.

MSH reserves the right to open and inspect all boxes, packages, etc., before delivery to patients.

No restriction shall be placed upon a patient’s visitation with his or her attorney.

Ministers will be allowed reasonable professional access to patients beyond the restriction of routine visiting hours.

Children younger than 16 must be under adult supervision at all times.  Children are allowed to visit patients, unless there is an order from the attending physician prohibiting such visits.

Patients may not ride in motor vehicles unless a physician gives permission.

Patients may not drive a motor vehicle during a visit.

Visitors are expected to conduct themselves in a socially acceptable manner while on hospital grounds.

The hospital administration may limit visitation of any individual who does not comply with the policies and regulations of MSH.

MSH complies fully with all federal and state privacy protection laws and regulations.  All information regarding MSH patients is confidential and not to be shared with others.  Relatives who wish to photograph or otherwise record a patient in MSH’s care may do so only with prior approval from the hospital’s Public Relations (PR) Director.  Ask the head nurse or a social worker to contact Public Relations Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., 601-351-8018.  On holidays and weekends, contact the MSH Operator, 601-351-8000.

Clothing: Excessive clothing and personal items are not advised due to limited storage space.  Patients may have five sets of washable clothing including underwear and socks.  Patients may also bring one pair of house shoes, one pair of soft-soled comfortable shoes or tennis shoes, one robe, gowns or pajamas and a sweater or coat for cold weather.  Each item of clothing should be labeled with the patient’s name.

Personal Possessions:  Patients are encouraged to bring small personal items from home to decorate their living space.  No glass, sharp, or metal objects are allowed.  Valuable possessions such as rings, watches, hair dryers, curling irons, radios or musical instruments are discouraged.  Patients are responsible for their personal possessions.

Food and Diet Management:  Patients’ food is prepared at MSH’s food services facility.  A registered dietitian and a physician address individual dietary needs.  Families may send snacks or bring them when they visit.  However, these items are limited to what the patient can consume in one setting.  Due to limited storage space and other food storage requirements, patients cannot keep food on the buildings.  If a patient is on a special diet, please ask the staff which snack foods are permitted and appropriate.  Patients with their own funds have access to vending machines, the Snack Shack, and the Patient Dining Room.

To ensure patient, employee, and visitor safety, dangerous or potentially dangerous objects are not permitted on MSH property.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia;
  • medication not prescribed or authorized by MSH physicians, including over-the-counter medications;
  • weapons or potentially dangerous objects;
  • razor blades, matches, and cigarette lighters;
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • potentially dangerous substances of abuse.

The MSH Police Department reserves the right to inspect vehicles entering and leaving hospital property.

Mail and Packages:  Families and friends are encouraged to maintain contact with patients by sending letters and packages.  Letters and packages should be addressed as follows:

Patient Name
Mississippi State Hospital
PO Box 157-A, Building #
Whitfield, MS 39193

Patients are encouraged to write letters; assistance is provided if necessary.  Outgoing and incoming mail is not censored.  For the protection and safety of the patient, all packages are opened in the presence of hospital staff.

Money:  Patients may have money to make telephone calls or to purchase snacks from the vending machines, Snack Shack, or Patient Dining Room.  Large amounts of money are discouraged.  Families and friends are encouraged to send money by cashier’s check or money order to the patient’s account in the Business Office.  Please do not send cash.  The cashier’s check or money order should be written as follows:

Mississippi State Hospital
for Patient Name

It should then be mailed as follows:

Attention - Cashier's Office
P.O. Box 157-A, B-21
Whitfield, MS  39193

When visiting, families and friends may deposit money into the patient’s account in the Business Office at the Administration Building (Bldg. 21).  Upon discharge, the patient may withdraw any money remaining in the account.

Telephone calls and Calling Cards:  Patients do have access to telephones. We encourage the use of calling cards for patients whose families/friends are long distance. Families and friends may send calling cards. Social workers will provide opportunities and assistance for patients to make telephone calls.

Patient Identification Numbers:  We are committed to sharing a patient’s progress with family members, but we must also protect the patient's right to privacy. The sharing of information is limited to individuals authorized by the patient and/or the patient’s listed correspondent.  When contacting the Child/Adolescent Unit (Oak Circle Center) or the Medical Psychiatry Unit, a Patient Identification Number is required to receive information regarding a patient’s status.  The social worker will provide the correspondent with this number upon admission.  Family members are encouraged to protect the confidentiality of this number.

©2005
07/05