Behavioral Health Symposium Focuses on Stigma of Mental Health, Access to Resources

Taylor Symposium
Oct. 17, 2016

‘Saving lives is our utmost goal,’ say founders of Gil Taylor Depression Awareness Alliance

Media contact: Eric M. Eckert, office: (254) 710-1964, mobile: (254) 652-0398

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 17, 2016) – Baylor University and Baylor Scott & White Health are partnering to host a half-day symposium focused on the stigma of depression and to promote access to behavioral health resources.

“It Takes a Community” is the theme of the second annual Gil Taylor Behavioral Health Symposium, which will take place Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Meyer Conference Center in Baylor University’s Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, 1621 S. Third St., in Waco.

“Each of us knows someone whose life has been touched by mental illness. This event helps us take one more step in creating the courage and confidence that it takes for us to be open with the mental health struggles we face,” said Jon E. Singletary, Ph.D., dean of Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.

The symposium includes breakout sessions led by psychiatrists, psychologists, ministers, social workers, Baylor University faculty and other professionals. Admission is free, but registration is required and seating is limited. Registration closes at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19. Practitioners seeking continuing education credits will be charged $15.

This symposium and other events like it result from the outreach of the Gil Taylor Depression Awareness Alliance, founded by Baylor alumni Dudley (B.B.A. ’65) and Charlotte (B.A. ’65) Taylor.

“Our mission is to raise awareness of mental health and depression through advocacy and education,” the Taylors said in a statement. “We are honored to have Baylor Scott & White Health and Baylor University present this symposium together to provide direction to those affected by this disease and education of how to help. Saving lives is our utmost goal.”

Singletary said society has begun to be more supportive of people struggling with mental health issues, but there are still difficulties and challenges – specifically regarding the stigma of mental illness.

“It is still more difficult to tell an employer that you are wrestling with bad anxiety than it is to say you are wrestling with bad allergies,” he said. “It is harder to disclose depression to family members than to disclose most any other disease. This event is a practice-focused symposium with accessible presentations where leaders throughout the community will learn to challenge stigmas related to mental illness and promote mental health.”

Visit the Baylor Events website to register.

Learn more about the Gil Taylor Depression Awareness Alliance and see a list of the organization’s upcoming events.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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