Baylor University was proud to host the virtual Gil Taylor Behavioral Health Symposium Friday, October 8, 2021, via Zoom Webinar.

This annual symposium cultivated a 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.


  • 9:00am-10:00am: Welcome & Keynote Speaker: Dennis Gillan
  • 10:00am-10:15am: Break
  • 10:15am-11:15am: Keynote Speaker: Holly Oxhandler, PhD
  • 11:15am-1:00pm: Lunch Break
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm: Breakout Session #1
  • 2:00pm-2:15pm: Break
  • 2:15pm-3:15pm Breakout Session #2

Support the Symposium

Support the Gil Taylor Behavioral Health Symposium and help make future events like this possible.


Holly Oxhandler

Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D., LMSW

Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and
Associate Professor, Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, Baylor University

Learn more about Dr. Oxhandler.


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.


Dennis Gillan

Dennis Gillan

Mental Health Advocate

Learn more about Dennis Gillan.

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.

  • Behavioral Health amongst Marginalized Populations
  • Mental Health in Children
  • Building Resiliency: Caregivers of Persons Living with Dementia
  • Substance Misuse / Substance Use Disorder

Sponsored by:

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taylor family

successfully living with depression

raising awareness

advocating and educating

providing resources

together we can

Our Mission is to raise awareness of depression through advocacy and education while providing a variety of resources for those impacted by the disease within the home, workplace and community.

Depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects nearly one in 10 adults.

Nearly twice as many women as men, and about one in five teens according to a 2010 study by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Symptoms include:

  •  Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or numb
  •  Loss of energy or increased fatigue, insomnia or oversleeping
  •  Irritability or anxiety causing one to be short-tempered
  •  Trouble making decisions or thinking clearly
  •  Feeling guilty or worthless
  •  Thoughts of death and suicide

GTDAA’s focus is to bring awareness and end the “stigma” of mental health issues.

Contact GTDAA

hope is the key

Are you feeling depressed or suspect a loved one is depressed?

Take a few minutes to complete an anonymous self-assessment.

The GTDAA is a 501(c)(3) public charity working to raise awareness of depression and to help remove the “stigma” associated with mental health issues. An estimated 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 youth experience depression, a serious medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior and physical health.

Robert Spears, GTDAA Board Member

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Bob Spears, our wonderful Board Member and Secretary. Bob was passionate about our mission from the onset and involved in every decision. He will truly be missed by all.