• Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine

    What is BSSM?

    Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine centers on research, scholarship, teaching, training, clinical care and service that emphasized social, behavioral and population-based factors in medicine, health and health outcomes. Our work prioritized impacts on community health, especially for historically underserved populations and sims to develop and deploy effective solutions to improve health.

  • Effective Communication in Dementia Caregiving

    Join the ACTS2 Caregiver Project with their upcoming workshop titled “Effective Communication & Creative Problem Solving for Family Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia in Assisted Living Facilities” on Facebook Live at May 30, 7pm – 8:15pm EST. Hear from speakers Rebecca Adelman, J.D., and Heather Bornstein, J.D., on the best methods for communicating care taking concerns in assisted care, ViElla Balloon-Lindsey sharing her personal experiences and lessons learned, and Project Coordinator, Tomeka Norton-Brown, will provide training and support for dementia caregivers.

    register here

  • Call to Action to Address Maternal Mental Health

    The Center for Behavioral Health Integration recently spoke at the “Maternal Mortality Call to Action” webinar hosted by the Florida Hospital Association. Hear from Dr. Cole Greves, MD, reviewing maternal mortality rates, BSSM Department Chair Heather Flynn, Ph.D., highlighting efforts from Florida BH Impact to improve maternal and pediatric access to care and treatment, Lori Shea detailing how Lakeland Regional Health supports maternal patients, and Andrew Reeve from Babyscripts on their mobile solution for reducing maternal mortality.

    learn more

  • 5th annual “Be Kind to Your Mind” Mental Health Fair

    During Mental Health Awareness Week, BSSM attended the 5th Annual Be Kind to Your Mind Mental Health and Wellness Fair, offering resources to turn awareness into action. This event is hosted by the Mental Health Council of the Big Bend, of which BSSM Chair Dr. Heather Flynn is a member. Members from the FSU Neuromodulation Lab and NCRT-CE hosted booths to share insight with attendees on how their research and community outreach efforts can help individuals facing mental health challenges.

    Mental Health Council Website

  • ADvancing interRAI: Using Better Data, Better

    BSSM faculty members Jeffrey Harman, Ph.D., Samantha Goldfarb, Dr.PH., M.P.H., Katelyn Graves, Ph.D. and Jon Mills, Ph.D., M.B.A. introduce ADvancing interRAI. This new initiative is building shared infrastructure that supports state efforts to improve how they assess people and provide them Home and Community Based Services using the interRAI Home Care system, to assign resources and use data for policy and program improvement.


  • Uniting Minds to Combat Mental Health Crisis

    BSSM Department Chair Heather Flynn, and President of the International Society for Interpersonal Psychotherapy (ISIPT), hosted the 10th Biennial ISIPT Conference in Newcastle UK this week. Interpersonal psychotherapy is an evidence-based treatment for mental health disorders being used around the world. Over 200 participants from 32 countries shared information on research and treatment to help combat the global mental health crisis.

    conference highlights

  • Community Rounds on Highlighting Rare Diseases

    BSSM resumes its Community Rounds series with “Highlighting Pediatric Rare Diseases and Community Impacts” on April 3, from 12pm - 1pm EST. The virtual panel of participants includes Pradeep Bhide, Director of the Florida State University Institute for Pediatric Rare Diseases, Michele Holbrook, 2023 National Ambassador for the Children's Tumor Foundation, and Yang Hou, Assistant Professor in FSU College of Medicine Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine.

    Full Video & Timestamps

  • Harmology: How Helping Can Cause Harm

    BSSM’s Center for Behavioral Health Integration recently hosted a Motivational Interviewing & Beyond workshop titled “Harmology: How Helping Can Cause Unintended Harm.” Hear from speakers Joel Porter and Stephen Rollnick on topics such as unintentional harm resulting from attempts to help. Also learn from guest speakers Brendan Murphy about Harmology questions, Shaun Shelly on harm reduction, further Harmology discussion with Michael Flaum, and appearances from BSSM Department Chair Heather Flynn.

    Full Video and Timestamps


Who we are

As one of two academic research departments in the College of Medicine, BSSM’s goal is to be a leader in the creation of new knowledge emphasizing multidisciplinary, applied research, partnered with community members, health care providers and patients.


BSSM has an interdisciplinary faculty representing fields of psychology (clinical, developmental, personality, social), public health, epidemiology, biostatistics, bioethics, health services and health policy, and medical history. Faculty research interests are all centered on work aimed to impact communities, especially underserved populations. BSSM includes three centers: the Center for Translational Behavioral Science (CTBS), The Center for Behavioral Health Integration (CBHI), and the Center for Medicine and Public Health Policy (CM&PHPP). Members of BSSM conduct cutting-edge research and scholarship, much of which is driven by the Mission of the FSU College of Medicine.


Areas of research focus include social and behavioral aspects of chronic disease prevention and maintenance with a particular focus on HIV, psychological and medical aspects of healthy aging, mental health, substance use and addiction, health care service optimization and policy, and bioethical and historical conceptual foundations of science and medicine. BSSM draws on a wide variety of research methodologies, including intervention development and implementation science, policy and program evaluation, comparative effectiveness research, clinical trials, epidemiology and prevention science. BSSM also has a major focus on health care workforce development and clinical skill-building. 

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