About Us

The Florida LEADS Project is a five-year, federally funded grant based on the Zero Suicide Model
and acts as a multi-system approach, rooted in cultural competency and evidence-based research. 
The project aims to reduce health disparities and inequalities that affect the lives of adults, ages 
25 years and older, at risk for suicide and/or experiencing behavioral health disorders, serious
mental illnesses, and substance abuse addictions.

Our Goals

Integration icon

Develop Partnerships

That promote and train leaders in the ZS model and revise policies, procedures, and organizational cultures.
Integration icon

Cultivate a Confident Workforce

To identify, assess, manage, treat, and follow-up with adults at risk for suicide using evidence-based prevention and intervention programs.
Integration icon

Increase the Use of Screening

To improve identification of suicide risk and behavioral health problems.
Integration icon

Enhance Policies and Protocols

Promote and train leaders in the ZS model and revise policies, procedures, and organizational cultures.
Integration icon

Create a Social Awareness Campaign

Promote and train leaders in the ZS model and revise policies, procedures, and organizational cultures.
Integration icon

Utilize Rapid Coordinated Referrals

Promote and train leaders in the ZS model and revise policies, procedures, and organizational cultures.

Meet The Team

Kim Gryglewicz, PhD
Principal Investigator
Dr. Gryglewicz is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Population Health in the College of Medicine at UCF. Dr Gryglewicz’s research focuses on improving quality of care standards and clinical care competencies for suicide care, studying social and behavioral risk determinants for health and wellbeing, and designing and implementing culturally responsive mental health interventions and suicide prevention programs for at-risk populations.
Marc Karver, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator
Dr. Karver and his Alliance and Suicide Prevention Lab at the University of South Florida have developed and researched suicide risk assessment, prevention, management, and intervention approaches delivered to suicidal persons with a variety of cultural, racial/ethnic, SES, and other characteristics to address gaps in the suicide prevention literature.
Lisa Borntrager, MSW
Project Manager
Lisa Borntrager is the Program Coordinator in the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training in the School of Social Work at the University of Central Florida. She is passionate about social work research focusing on improving programs, policies, and systems that affect mental health, suicide, and overall societial wellbeing.
Lauren Brener, BFA
Marketing and Design Specialist
Lauren Brener is a graphic designer and brand specialist passionate about bringing zero suicide, public health and domestic/intimate partner violence research to life visually. To Lauren, bridging awareness of research data with modern design trends can inspire people to develop knowledge of topics affecting society as a whole.
Angie Whalen, LCSW
Research Associate
Angelina is a clinician with over a decade of experience serving youth and families in schools. In addition to individual clinical work, she is passionate about macro level interventions and mental health advocacy to include suicide prevention and research.
Sara Dennis
Evaluation Program Manager
Sara Dennis is a Project Manager with the Alliance and Suicide Prevention Lab at the University of South Florida. Her main interests include resilience, adverse childhood experiences, strength-based interventions, and psychosocial determinants of health.  
Victoria Orr
Research Assistant
Victoria is a post-bacc psychology student from the University of Central Florida. Her main research interests include neurodegenerative disorders, neurorehabilitation, suicide and depression, and social determinants of health. She plans to pursue a PhD in clinical neuropsychology.
Israt Jahan
Graduate Research Assistant
Israt is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work (MSW) at the University of Central Florida. She serves as a research assistant at the Center for Behavioral Health Research and Training (CBHRT). Her primary research interests include substance abuse, suicide prevention, and mental health.