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NEXUS is working to bridge multiple gaps in mental health support with a unique community of traditional and nontraditional mental health stakeholders, focusing on critical junctures in care to move from

Man against wall needs help
Man against wall needs help


Through in-depth research, interviews, and expert insights, NEXUS (Neuroscience Experts and Cross-Sector Unconventional Stakeholders) has identified a set of unmet mental health needs for women, youth, and individuals coming into contact with or those just released from the justice system. To address the unmet needs of these groups, NEXUS is partnering with a broad range of mental health stakeholders to energize the traditional mental health conversation.

We’re working with traditional mental health stakeholders as well as those not typically associated with mental health support but who possess invaluable insights, such as those with lived experience, case managers, law enforcement officers, prison administrators, parents, community center volunteers, and school tutors, to name a few.

Our stakeholders are all in it together to fulfill the NEXUS vision to bring innovative solutions to the front lines of mental health.

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How we’re

What sets us apart from other respected and effective mental health initiatives is our groundbreaking collaborations with traditional and nontraditional stakeholders in mental health. We’re also examining mental health best practices in individual communities and evaluating how best to use them for the greatest impact on the unmet needs of our 3 key groups.

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  • Healthy Women
  • Correctional Education Association
  • Department and Bipolar Support Alliance
  • Scattergood Foundation
  • Dementia Action Alliance
  • American Medical Women's Association
  • Caregiver Action Network
  • National alliance for Caregiving
  • Mental Health America
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
  • American Psychiatric Association Foundation

NEXUS is focused on addressing challenges at critical junctures on the journey to mental health: moving from hopeless to hopeful

The unmet mental health needs of women, youth, and individuals coming into contact with or those just released from the justice system, while different, share many similarities, such as: the need for greater awareness, early intervention, a timely diagnosis, continuity of care, and support throughout life transitions. One of the goals of NEXUS is to work collaboratively to explore how to resolve the mental health challenges facing these groups at critical junctures, such as women becoming primary caregivers, youth moving schools, and individuals transitioning out of pre-incarceration community mental health services (CMHS) into the justice system.

Women’s mental health needs are unique and deserve to be recognized as such

To date, NEXUS is focused on 4 key unmet needs in women’s mental health: proper diagnosis for girls, access to mental health support for low-income women, support for primary caregivers, and early intervention for women who have experienced trauma.

Youth in school and those in transition may need additional mental health support

NEXUS has identified 3 key unmet needs in youth mental health: broad mental health support for children starting or moving schools, availability of mental health resources for high school graduates transitioning into higher education, and mental health support within current Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Inadequate mental health screening and intervention pervade the justice system

Current unmet needs in individuals inside and outside of the justice system include: mental health screening at intake and release; continuity of care, ie, connection to pre-incarceration community mental health services (CMHS); and access to financial and mental health support resources after release.


1. World Health Organization. Gender and women’s mental health. 2019. https://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/. Accessed: February 12, 2020. 2. Child Mind Institute. 2016 Child Mind Institute Children’s Mental Health Report. 2016. https://childmind.org/download-document/?document=cmhr_2016. Accessed: February 12, 2020. 3. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Jailing people with mental illness. 2019. https://www.nami.org/learn-more/public-policy/jailing-people-with-mental-illness. Accessed: February 12, 2020.


Beth Battaglino
Beth Battaglino RN-C

President and Chief
Executive Officer

Jessica Edwards
Jessica Edwards

Director, External Relations National Alliance on Mental Illness

Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH
Rakesh Jain, MD, MPH

Psychiatrist and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
Texas Tech University School of Medicine

Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC
Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC

Psychotherapist and Adjunct Clinical Affiliate,
The University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing

Karli Keator, MPH
Karli Keator, MPH

National Center for Youth Opportunity and Justice

Susan Lockwood Roberts, EdD
Susan Lockwood Roberts, EdD

Past President
Correctional Education Association (CEA)

Theresa Nguyen, LCSW
Theresa Nguyen, LCSW

Vice President of Policy and Programs
Mental Health America

Joe Pyle
Joe Pyle

Scattergood Foundation

Christopher Seeley, MSW
Christopher Seeley, MSW

Program Director, School and Justice Initiatives
American Psychiatric Association (APA) Foundation

Hannah Zeller, MSW
Hannah Zeller, MSW

Programs Manager
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Gabe Howard
Gabe Howard

Speaker & Author
Host of Healthline Media's Inside Mental Health podcast


Kathy Bernstein

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA),
Development Vice President

Alex Blandford, MPH

The Council of State Governments Justice Center, Program Director, Behavioral Health

Chance Browning

Caregiver Action Network (CAN), Senior Program Director

Eliza Chin, MD

American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), Executive Director

Nichole Goble

CAN, Program Associate

Clara Kim

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), Vice President of Consulting Services

Jackie Pinkowitz

Dementia Action Alliance, Board Chair

Maddy Reinert

MHA, Policy and Programs Associate

Kevin Rushton

MHA, Program Associate

C. Grace Whiting, JD

National Alliance for Caregiving, President and Chief Executive Officer