Directory & Faculty Profiles
Debbie J. Ferguson, DrPH
Dr. Ferguson is the Executive Director of Central Mississippi Residential Center (CMRC), a community mental health provider operated by the Department of Mental Health in rural Mississippi. She has over 30 years of experience in the field of mental health; including work in both the public and private sectors as well as having extensive clinical and administrative experience. Dr. Ferguson has doctorate in Public Health from Jackson State University and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston. She is an Associate Faculty member of the University of Phoenix, teaches research and dissertation courses and serves as a Dissertation Chair and Committee Member. Personal research interests include public health policy, mental health promotion, stigma associated with mental illness and treatment of mental illness, jail diversion programs for individuals with mental illness, health disparities within mentally ill and rural populations, integrated health care, suicide prevention and mental health as a component of disaster response. Dr. Ferguson is a lifelong learner who is passionate about the provision of mental health services to vulnerable populations and the need for a shift away from a clinical model focusing on individual treatment to a public health, population-based model focusing on promotion, prevention, screening and early intervention. She was named Woman of the Year in 2011 by the Newton Chamber of Commerce and a nominee of the 2008 NAMI “Hero in the Fight”, awarded to professionals fighting for better mental health. The Mississippi Business Journal recognized her in 2005 as one of Mississippi’s 50 Leading Business Women.