Home desktop banner

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.

Hand extended to help

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.

Hand extended to help


  • 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

National Director, Strategic Alliances and Development National Alliance on Mental Illness

Le Ondra
Le Ondra Clark Harvey, Ph.D.

CEO of California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
ED of California Access Coalition

Gabe Howard
Gabe Howard

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

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

Jackie Pinkowitz
Jackie Pinkowitz

Board Chair Emeritus, Dementia Action Alliance

Debbie Plotnick
Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP

Senior Vice President,
State and Federal Advocacy, Mental Health America

Joe Pyle
Joe Pyle

Scattergood Foundation

Susan Lockwood Roberts, EdD
Susan Lockwood Roberts, EdD

Past President
Correctional Education Association (CEA)

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