Nev Jones

  • Assistant Professor

Nev Jones is a community-engaged mental health services researcher,  with an interdisciplinary academic background in social and political philosophy (BA, MA, postbaccalaureate fellowship), community psychology (MA, PhD) and medical anthropology (postdoc).  Prior to moving to Pitt, she was a tenure stream faculty member at the University of South Florida, and prior to that worked in policy, direct service, quality improvement and evaluation roles in the public mental health system in California.  She brings a strong disability justice and lived experience advocacy orientation to her work and was a 2017 NIDILLR Switzer Fellow, 2021 recipient of the Pioneer Award from the National Association of Peer Supporters (NAPS) and 2022 recipient of the Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy award from the National Coalition on Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR). 

Current funded projects include an NIMH R01 focused on work, school and disability benefit decisions and trajectories in the early years following a first episode of psychosis, and a PCORI Engagement Award (in collaboration with Mental Health America and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law) centered on campus mental health, including campus crisis response and support for students with significant psychiatric disabilities.

Specific areas of expertise include:

  • Early intervention in psychosis/Coordinated Specialty Care for early psychosis, including research and interventions focused on improving longer-term social and functional outcomes;
  • Quality improvement and technology transfer within public sector community health services, particularly those focused on improving experiences and outcomes for individuals dealing with long-term psychiatric disabilities, including psychosis/schizophrenia;
  • Impacts of race, class, income and community context on trajectories in conditions traditionally labelled SMI across the areas of financial empowerment and economic mobility,  service use, and involvement with the child welfare and juvenile/criminal legal systems, economic mobility and community integration;
  • The centering of mental health service user perspectives on intervention and system design, quality improvement, implementation and evaluation, including in the development and implementation of machine learning based algorithm decision systems;
  • Crisis response systems and the role and impact of police involvement, coercion and involuntary interventions, especially in the context of initial youth/young adult pathways into and through care.

Dr. Jones is currently an editorial board member and series/column editor for both Psychiatric Services and Community Mental Health Journal; a Commissioner for the Lancet Psychiatry Commission on the Psychoses in a Global Context, and member of the expert advisory board for the data harmonization initiative of the International Association of Mental Health Research Funders (IAMHRF).  Her research has been funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), National Institute of Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

On the community and advocacy side, Dr. Jones founded and facilitates the international ‘Transform Mental Health Research’ initiative, focused on building service user/client involvement and leadership, and co-founded and previously co-directed the Lived Experience Research Network, Chicago Hearing Voices and the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network.  She regularly provides training and consultation to community providers on meaning-centered approaches to psychosis, structural competency in ‘SMI’ contexts, peer support, and service user involvement in design and implementation.

Mentoring & Advising

Dr. Jones is deeply invested in supporting students and early career researcher from groups under-represented in academia.  This includes students with psychiatric disabilities, including those conventionally labelled ‘serious mental illness’ and intersections with other areas of marginalization/oppression (eg race, class, gender identity, history of incarceration).  Current or prospective students with lived experience are encouraged to reach out.

Current Funded Projects

  • Social Security Administration, Retirement & Disability Research Center Samll Grant Program: “A Qualitative Investigation of Work-Related Decision Making Among SSI Recipients” (co-PI with Katie Savin, California State University – Sacramento).  This one year qualitative project focuses on the experiences of SSI recipients in Sacramento, CA and Pittsburgh, PA as they navigate employment related policies, penalties and incentives in the social security program.
  • New York Office of Mental Health (OMH), Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of Assisted Oupatient Treatment (AOT) (2024-26; co-PI with Bevin Croft of HSRI).  This OMH funded state-wide evaluation will examine the implementation and impacts of AOT with substantive attention to social and structural determinants and structural racism. 
  • NIMH R01 MH125868  ‘Optimizing Disability Benefit Decisions and Outcomes in First Episode Psychosis’ (2022-2027).  A multi-phase, mixed methods R01 (with MPIs Lisa Dixon and Howard Goldman) focused on understanding work, school and disability-benefit decisions and outcomes in specialized early psychosis / Coordinated Specialty Care settings.
  • PCORI Eugene Washington Engagement Award: The Campus Mental Health Crisis: Convening Stakeholders to Drive Research & Change (2023 – 24).  Community engaged project in collaboration with Kelly Davis (Director of Youth Advocacy & Peer Support, Mental Health America) and Jalyn Radziminski (Communications Manager and cross-disability activist, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law) focused on developed research priorities and guidelines focused on mental health response and supports in higher education.

Recent Publications

Callejas, L. & Jones, N. (2022).  Meaningful participatory research in a multistakeholder collaboration on youth pathways to care: Implementation and reflections. Psychiatric Services.

Atterbury, K. & Jones, N.  (2022). Overcoming factionalism in serious mental illness policy making: A counter-perspective. Psychiatric Services.

Jones, N., Gius, B.*, Shields, M., Florence, A., Watson, A., & Munson, M. (2021).  Youth and young adult accounts of interactions with police officers in the context of involuntary psychiatric hold initiation. Psychiatric Services.

Jones, N., Gius, B.*, Shields, M., Collings, S.*, Rosen, C. & Munson, M. (2021).  Impact of youth and young adult involuntary hospitalization on subsequent help-seeking and disclosure of suicidal ideation.  Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.

Jones, N., Kamens, S., Mascayano, F., Perry, C., Olowuye, D., Manseau, M.  & Compton, M. (2021). Structural disadvantage and culture, race & ethnicity in early intervention in psychosis services: International landscape and provider views. Psychiatric Services.

Jones, N., Atterbury, L., Byrne, L., Carras, M., Hansen, M. & Phalen, P. (2021). Lived experience, research leadership and the transformation of mental health services: Building a pipeline. Psychiatric Services

Full list available at ResearchGate


Social Media

Twitter: @viscidula 


Areas of Expertise