FAU Mental Health Summit 2020

FAU Safe the Dates - FAU Mental Health Summit. Sponsored by the Provost's Office. Join us virtually on October 19 8am - 12pm EST and October 26 1pm - 5pm EST

The virtual FAU Mental Health Summit is an educational, reflective, professional development experience for FAU faculty and staff. Taking place on two Mondays in October, the 19th (8 a.m. - 12 p.m.) and 26th (1 p.m. - 5 p.m.), the Summit will provide information and techniques on how to best fortify our own mental health and provide support for students and colleagues through practical everyday methods. Separate activities will occur during each half-day and you are encouraged to attend as many as possible. You will learn in real time with other participants through presentations, discussions, group activities, workshops, and more. Join President John Kelly, Provost Bret Danilowicz, Vice Provost Michele Hawkins, Provost Fellow Laura Vernon, Interim Dean of Students Audrey Pusey, CAPS Director Kathryn Kominars, Owls Care Health Promotion Director Karen Murray, and other university leaders and Student Affairs partners for moments of reflection, conversation, and discussion, and leave with the tools to positively impact our students and colleagues, and enrich and renew our own lives. We look forward to having you join us!

Register here: https://bit.ly/FAU-Summit-RSVP

Contact Laura Vernon, Provost Fellow for Student Mental Health, at lvernon@fau.edu with questions or to get involved.

FAU Mental Health Summit 2020 Program

Information and Resources

October 26 Keynote Address

Suicide Prevention and Postvention: Best Practice Strategies for Campus Professionals

Meggen Tucker Sixbey, Ph.D., LMHC, LMFT

Associate Director

Clinical Associate Professor, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Talk Slides

Talk Description and Learning Objectives

  • Acquire information related to suicide prevalence
  • Identify common myths surrounding suicidality
  • Identify common warning signs surrounding suicidality
  • Explore ways campus professional can engage in conversations around suicidal concerns

Suicide is reported to be the second leading cause of death among college students with suicidal thoughts and attempted suicides occurring at high rates. In a national survey of college students, approximately 5% reported thinking seriously about suicide, and 1% reported making a suicide attempt within the last year (ACHA, 2018). Approximately 18% of students reported they had seriously considered attempting suicide in their lifetimes (Drum, Brownson, Denmark, & Smith, 2009). Mental health problems associated with suicide and other adverse outcomes impact a substantial proportion of college students. These problems can negatively affect students’ academic performance and quality of life, while also extending to peers, roommates, family, friends, faculty, and staff who are often personally impacted by students who are struggling.

Previously, the responsibility for student mental health rested solely on campus counseling centers. In more recent times however, suicide prevention and intervention is “everyone’s business,” and campuses have moved towards a public-health model training students, faculty and staff across campuses. This training and retraining is critical to educating and informing campus partners to assist with a healthy campus climate and a culture of campus care. Suicide Prevention and Postvention: Best Practices for Campus Professionals will explore current national and campus statistics regarding suicide, explore clues and warning signs related to suicidality, identify how campus stakeholders can engage with individuals they are concerned about, and briefly discuss campus postvention as a form of intervention.


Dr. Meggen Tucker Sixbey is a Clinical Associate Professor and Associate Director of the University of Florida’s (UF) Counseling and Wellness Center. Dr. Sixbey received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Florida, with a specialization in crisis intervention and suicide prevention. Currently, she directs the UF Crisis and Emergency Resource Center where she coordinates the counseling response to campus crises, disasters, emergencies, and other traumatic events. Dr. Sixbey is a member of UF’s Emergency Operations Team, coordinating mental health consultation and assistance for faculty, staff, and students during periods of activation. Additionally, she is an active member on UF’s multidisciplinary threat assessment/behavioral consultation team where she offers mental health consultation regarding individuals who pose potential safety risks to self or others. Since beginning her career in crisis response in 1998, Dr. Sixbey has provided on-site local, state, and national crisis response for man-made and natural disasters including violent deaths, shootings, hurricanes, and wildfires. She provides trainings nationally on crisis intervention, suicide prevention, threat assessment, and trainings on how to best assist individuals in distress and psychological first aid. Her clinical and research interests include post-trauma recovery through a trauma informed lens, suicide intervention, and interpersonal relationship dynamics. She has written on topics such as: help seeking behaviors, family resilience factors after a trauma as well as the implications for therapists’ when working with individuals in crises. Dr. Sixbey is also an affiliate faculty member in the College of Education where she teaches graduate counseling courses in areas such as, but not limited to: Trauma and Crisis Intervention, Professional Identity and Ethics, and Introduction to Counseling.

October 19 Keynote Address

Utilizing Psychological Science to Address the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Arthur Evans, Jr., PhD

Talk Slides

Talk Description and Learning Objectives

Talk Description:

We currently find ourselves in a ‘perfect storm’ of economic uncertainty, extreme stress from the COVID-19 pandemic, and distress related to concerns about systemic racial injustice. For many of these complex and interconnected issues, there is often psychological science that can be brought to bear to help people in their personal and professional roles, as well as with their own psychological health.

This presentation will draw from various areas of psychological research to provide practical advice to help you address this perfect storm. From leadership, to communication, to effective learning, to mental health, the field has a wide range of applicable and valuable expertise to offer – knowledge that people are often not aware exists. Utilizing the psychological science around issues like these will ultimately enable you to do your job more effectively and increase your mental wellness as FAU community members, parents, caregivers, and individuals.

Three Learning Objectives:

1) Drawing on psychological science and knowledge, describe one way that you can be a more effective leader in the FAU community.

2) Drawing on psychological science and knowledge, describe one way that you can promote your own mental wellness.

3) Drawing on psychological science and knowledge, describe one way that you can be more effective in your personal life (e.g., as a parent, caregiver, family member, etc.).


Clinical and community psychologist, policymaker, and health care innovator Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, is CEO of the American Psychological Association, the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. Evans’ focus as CEO has been around transforming the organization to ensure that APA is having a positive impact on the critical issues facing the field of psychology and society at-large. Drawing on his experiences as an administrator and his expertise in complex organizational and systems change, he is positioning APA – and as a result, the broader field of psychology – to lead in advancing, communicating, and applying the science of human behavior.

Before joining APA in 2017, Evans served in public policy positions in Connecticut and Philadelphia, where he led the transformation of their respective behavioral health care systems, helping a wider range of individuals with complex needs receive effective services. His research and writings have focused on evidence-based practices, behavioral health systems improvement and population mental health. He has held faculty appointments at Yale University’s and the University of Pennsylvania’s Schools of Medicine.

Evans holds a doctorate in clinical/community psychology from the University of Maryland and is a proud graduate of Florida Atlantic University where he earned a master’s degree in experimental psychology and where he also completed his undergraduate work.

Over the years Evans’ work has received national and international recognition, including the American Medical Association’s top government service award in healthcare, the Lisa Mojer-Torres Award from Faces and Voices of Recovery, and the Visionary Leadership Award from the National Council of Behavioral Health, as well as being named as an “Advocate for Action” by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. He was honored to be inducted into the Florida Atlantic University Alumni Hall of Fame in 2017. A major emphasis of his career has been equity and social justice, and he has received multiple awards named for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for this work.                                 


Student Mental Health Quick Reference: The quick reference resource from the summit, the FAU Student Mental Health One-Stop-Shop is a collection of “how to” tips for talking with students and reporting concerns, and also includes lists of FAU student resources, along with future professional development events.


Mental Health Summit 2020 Content Hub : Offers access to the content used and created during both days of the Summit. Check back regularly as it is updated to include Day 2 content. It will include recordings of each day’s sessions alongside each presenter’s slides and materials. It also includes resources from FAU and the local community for you to utilize and share with students.


The Summit Day 1 program included small group discussions about successes and challenges in working with students, and the notes from these breakout room discussion have been compiled and anonymized here.


Working Through Procrastination Presentation

Procrastination is a human behavior that we all take part in from time to time. If you would like to learn more information about Procrastination, please watch the PowerPoint Above.

Procrastination was identified by the spring 2020 National College Health Assessment at FAU to be the top academic impediment that students reported. This narrated set of slides walks students through the definition, underlining causes, and strategies to combat procrastination. It is delivered in an engaging and authentic manner that will have broad appeal.


3 Session DIY Workshop for Decreasing Anxiety

Anxiety Toolbox is a comprehensive three-session seminar specifically designed to help people who struggle with a variety of anxiety-related concerns (e.g., panic attacks, Generalized Anxiety, test anxiety).




Subscribe to the FAU CAPS YouTube Channel

You can subscribe to the FAU CAPS YouTube channel here to receive future content as it is released.


 Last Modified 10/22/20