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). 

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.

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 Outpatient 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; MPI with Howard Goldman, University of Maryland).  A multi-phase, mixed methods R01 focused on understanding work, school and disability-benefit decisions and outcomes in specialized early psychosis / Coordinated Specialty Care settings.

Select Recent Publications

Jones, N., Tong, L. Pagdon, S.*, Ebuenyi, I., Harrow, M., Sharma, R. & Rosen, C. (2024). Enduring effects of social disadvantage on long-term functional outcomes in psychosis in the 20-year prospective Chicago Follow-Up Study. Psychological Medicine. 1-13.

Jones, N., Pagdon, S., Ebuenyi, I., Goldman, H., & Dixon, L. (2023). Recovering the vocational self?: Service user accounts of barriers to work and school and the role of early psychosis services in supporting career development. Community Mental Health Journal59(8), 1452-1464.

Jones, N., Callejas, L., Brown, M., Colder Carras, M., Croft, B., Pagdon, S., ... & Zisman-Ilani, Y. (2023). Barriers to meaningful participatory mental health services research and priority next steps: findings from a national survey. Psychiatric Services74(9), 902-910.

Britz, B., & Jones, N. (2023). Experiencing and treating ‘madness’ in the United States circa 1967–2022: Critical counter-histories. SSM-Mental Health4, 100228.

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., 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