Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


PEP Talk finds new director, strives for mental health awareness

PsychoEducational Programming (PEP Talk) is a student organization that focuses on raising mental health awareness.
PEP Talk handing out supplies for mental health awareness. Courtesy of PEP Talk’s Instagram.

After a long search, PsychoEducational Programming Talk (PEP), a program funded by SG, recently found a new director, Aaliyah Flores, who is determined to lead PEP Talk in a positive light. PEP Talk is a student mental health organization under the Governor’s Administrative Cabinet. 

Flores was confirmed by FAU Boca House of Representatives on August 29. SG Boca Raton Campus Governor Shila Ductan said she was searching for a passionate and hardworking director.

“I am seeking someone passionate about mental health and advocating for mental initiatives on campus. I am looking for someone with a flexible schedule and willing to work with [Counseling and Psychological Services] CAPS and Student Health Services on advocating for mental health,” Ductan said.

PEP Talk’s primary task is to host events that raise awareness of suicide, but they also contribute to other aspects of mental health awareness, such as stress, anxiety and depression. 

Trevion Javier Briskey, the director of Multicultural Programming, has high hopes for PEP and mental health awareness.

“I’m excited to see the new initiatives that they have coming into play. And hopefully that we can get some focus on men’s mental health too,” Briskey said.

Ductan didn’t have strict requirements and was still having trouble finding a director in July when the Governor’s administrative cabinet last met

“The only qualifications are GPA requirements with a 3.0 minimum. We encourage students to have work experience in student government or registered student organizations,” she said. 

Ductan said PEP Talk has personally benefited her mental health and career path.

“PEP Talk from my freshman year in college encouraged me to go to CAPS and reach out to the other departments on campus for mental health and career readiness,” she said.

Kayla Cabrera, the associate director for programs and traditions in the Office of Student Involvement and Activities, has had significant support for PEP and high hopes for the new director.

“I attend PEP Talk events, and it allows me to connect with students I don’t get to work with every day. I think sometimes in professionals, we get too caught up with the work part, and we don’t always understand what It’s like for the current era of college students,” Cabrera stated. 

Cabrera also highly encourages new students concerned about mental health awareness to participate in PEP Talk. Explaining how beneficial the events are for mental health.

“You’re talking about how hard it is to be a college student, deal with test anxiety, and be homesick. And so I think creating spaces like that is what PEP Talk is here to do. I call PEP talk ‘you time’ because there are no expectations or requirements. You are just there to express yourself,” she expressed

Students can join PEP through Owl Central and follow their Instagram to see upcoming events.

Jason Steinfeld is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this story or others, you can contact Jason at [email protected] or @jasonsteinfeld221 on Instagram.

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