Expanding Mental Health Education

Florida Atlantic: Expanding Mental Health Education

Grant Brings Brain Institute Programs to Broward County

A new partnership between Florida Atlantic University and the Community Foundation of Broward County extends mental health-focused research and educational programs offered by Florida Atlantic’s Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute, located on the Jupiter campus, to Broward County residents.

Through a four-year, $400,000 grant from the Sharron and Joseph Ashby Hubert Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, two research projects will be expanded — one focused on stress in early life and one focused on PTSD in veterans. In addition, the grant will expand the Brain Institute’s MobileMinds program, which brings brain science education into classrooms in low-income areas. It also will endow a symposium on advances in brain research and mental health for Broward’s medical professionals and the public.

"The challenges of mental health affect not only individuals but their families and our entire community," said Sheri Brown Grosvenor, vice president, community impact for the Community Foundation of Broward. "We’re proud to expand the work of the FAU Stiles- Nicholson Brain Institute to provide education, awareness, and research on mental health challenges to residents in Broward County."

Over the next four years, the MobileMinds van will expand access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in Broward County’s Title 1 middle school classrooms. MobileMinds sparks students’ interest in and understanding of the brain and brain health through hands-on demonstrations of brain structure along with touchscreen and virtual reality-based brain science lessons and activities.

The educational symposium will feature leading researchers on the lifelong consequences of toxic stress — especially in youth and veterans — and paths to resiliency. Planned as an annual event to provide broad access to mental health information, the endowed symposium leaves a legacy for the mission of the Sharron and Joseph Ashby Hubert Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward.

"Finding solutions and providing education are the most effective ways to save and improve the lives of those suffering with mental health and mood disorders, as well as reducing the negative impacts of mental health conditions on people, families and our community," said Randy Blakely, Ph.D., executive director of the Brain Institute. "Knowledge increases awareness of conditions and symptoms and helps the community recognize when they or someone they know may be at risk."

If you would like more information, please contact us at dorcommunications@fau.edu.