Gil Taylor Behavioral Health Symposium

Gil Taylor Behavioral Health Symposium

Baylor University is proud to host the Gil Taylor Behavioral Health Symposium Friday, October 8, 2021

Back in-person for 2021, this annual symposium will cultivate heightened awareness for topics of mental and behavioral health while encouraging open dialogue across Central Texas.

As a community, we acknowledge our collective responsibility to address mental health issues that impact our neighbors as we collaboratively build the essential services for our city. The strategic partnership with the Gil Taylor Depression Awareness Alliance brings a track record of successful advocacy and awareness.


7:30 a.m. Guest arrival, beverages & pastries available, vendor fair and poster sessions open
8:30 a.m. Program begins
8:45 a.m. Keynote: Dennis Gillan
10:00 a.m. Breakout Session #1
11:15 a.m. Breakout Session #2
12:15 a.m. Transition to lunch in Ballroom
12:45 p.m. Keynote: Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D.
1:45 p.m. Behavioral health recognition
2:00 p.m. Program concludes (vendors and poster sessions remain open)
2:30 p.m. Event concludes


Holly Oxhandler, PhD, LMSW

Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and
Associate Professor, Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, Baylor University

Dr. Holly Oxhandler is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and an Associate Professor at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work. Dr. Oxhandler has developed various instruments to measure the integration of clients' religion/spirituality in mental health treatment, the integration of the helping professionals' faith in their work, as well as clients' views toward discussing their spirituality in treatment.

Her work is published among many of the top professional journals, and she is a leading expert in social work and related mental health disciplines on religion, spirituality, and mental health. Dr. Oxhandler hosts the weekly podcast, CXMH: Christianity & Mental Health, and her research has been featured in The Washington Post, Consumer Affairs, Religion News Service, and more. She is the author of the forthcoming book, The Soul of the Helper: Seven Stages to Seeing the Sacred Within Yourself So You Can See It in Others. Learn more about Dr. Oxhandler.

Dennis Gillan, Mental Health Advocate

Dennis Gillan
Mental Health Advocate

Dennis Gillan is a national thought leader on the topic of Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Advocacy. He travels internationally speaking, raising awareness, and opening up the conversation of mental health. Dennis has been deeply touched by suicide after the losses of two of his brothers to suicide 11 years apart. After years of sitting on the sidelines, he jumped into helping those in need by working on the suicide prevention hotline when he lived in Chicago. After moving to South Carolina, Gillan began serving several non-profits that take on mental health issues which affords him opportunities to lobby lawmakers and raise awareness by sharing his story. Learn more about Dennis Gillan.

  • Behavioral Health amongst Marginalized Populations
  • Mental Health in Children
  • Resiliency in the Workplace
  • Substance Misuse / Substance Use Disorder 
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