Dartmouth psychologist Joanne Nicholson joins Heller School faculty

April 02, 2018

Joanne Nicholson
Joanne Nicholson

Clinical and research psychologist Joanne Nicholson has joined the Institute for Behavioral Health (IBH) at the Heller School’s Schneider Institutes for Health Policy as professor of the practice. Nicholson comes to Heller from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where she was a professor of psychiatry. 

Dean David Weil says, “I am very pleased that Joanne will join the team at IBH. Her vision, dedication to resolving critical health disparities through applied, interdisciplinary research and her commitment to public engagement make her an excellent fit for the Heller faculty.”

Nicholson is known for her extensive research with families living with mental health and substance use disorders. Her work seeks to address health disparities and promote access to health resources and technology-based interventions for underserved individuals and families living with parental mental illness. She has been an investigator on over 50 research grants and contracts and is lead author of several books and over 100 publications. 

IBH Director and Professor Constance Horgan says, “We are thrilled that Dr. Nicholson is joining our dedicated faculty. In addition to her internationally recognized research portfolio and 30-plus years of experience, she will build bridges between IBH and state and community-based agencies working with vulnerable parents and families. Joanne will also mentor Heller students and facilitate internship and training opportunities with organizations that serve families living with mental illness and substance abuse.”

Nicholson is co-principal investigator for the National Research Center on Parents with Disabilities at Heller’s Lurie Institute for Disability Policy. She will continue as adjunct professor of psychiatry at UMASS Medical School, where she is research lead for the PCORI-funded Maternal Mental Health Research Collaborative and co-editor of the eJournal on Parent and Family Mental Health.

“Families provide the context and the motivation for recovery in behavioral health,” says Nicholson. “Helping parents to do the best they can has a positive impact in homes, neighborhoods and communities, and across generations. My goal is to promote policy and practice solutions that improve access to effective resources and supports, and reduce health disparities for our most vulnerable families.”