Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.
I received my MA and PhD in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of Manitoba in 1975 and 1979 and my BA in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972.
Prior to joining Laurier, I completed a pre-doctoral internship at Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wisconsin (1976-77), and I worked as a school psychologist at the Winnipeg Child Guidance Clinic (1977-79).
Research Interests / Ongoing Projects
My research has focused on 2 areas: (1) community mental health programs for people with serious mental illness and (2) primary prevention programs for young children and families. With regard to the first area, much of my research has focused on homelessness and housing for people with serious mental illness. I have also done research on peer support and self-help in mental health. For the second area, prevention of problems for children, I have studied the prevention of child maltreatment.I have also done research on community-driven approaches to prevention in children’s mental health, with much of my work focusing on Better Beginnings, Better Futures, an innovative, universal, ecological, community-based, multi-component, multi-year prevention program for children living in 8 low-income, Ontario communities. My current research focuses on sustainability and knowledge transfer of the Housing First approach for homeless people with mental illness in Canada and is funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Awards and Achievements
Award for Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology, Society for Community Research and Action (Division 27 [Community Psychology] of the American Psychological Association), 2013.
Wilfrid Laurier University Research Professor, 2004-2005.
Outstanding research study/article award for the year 2000, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, for the following paper: MacLeod, J., & Nelson, G. (2000). “Programs for the promotion of family wellness and the prevention of child maltreatment: A meta-analytic review.” Child Abuse and Neglect, 24, 1127-1149.
Harry V. McNeill Award for Innovation in Community Mental Health, jointly awarded by the Society for Community Research and Action (Division 27 [Community Psychology] of the American Psychological Association) and the American Psychological Foundation, 1999.
Student Opportunities / Supervising
I will not be taking any new graduate students.
Nelson, G., Kloos, B., & Ornelas, J. (Eds.). (2014). Community psychology and community mental health: Towards transformative change (Society for Community Research and Action book series). New York: Oxford University Press.
Nelson, G., & Prilleltensky, I. (Eds.). (2010). Community psychology: In pursuit of liberation and well-being (2nd Ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Nelson, G., Patterson, M., Kirst, M., Macnaughton, E., Isaac, C., Nolin, D., McAll, C., Steriopoulos, V., Townley, G., MacLeod, T., Piat, M., & Goering, P. (in press). “Life courses of homeless persons with mental illness: A longitudinal comparison of those entering Housing First and treatment as usual.” Psychiatric Services.
Worton, S.K., Caplan, R., Nelson, G., Pancer, S.M., Loomis, C., Peters, R. Dev., & Hayward, K. (2014). “Better Beginnings, Better Futures: Theory, research, and knowledge transfer of a community-based initiative for children and families.” Psychosocial Intervention, 23, 1-9.
Nelson, G., Stefancic, A., Rae, J., Townley, G., Tsemberis, S., Macnaughton, E., Aubry, T., Distasio, J., Hurtubise, R., Patterson, M., Stergiopolous, V., Piat, M., & Goering, P. (2014). “Early implementation evaluation of a multi-site Housing First intervention for homeless people with mental illness: A mixed methods approach.” Evaluation and Program Planning, 43, 16-26.
Nelson, G., & Evans, S. (2014). “Critical community psychology and qualitative research: A conversation.” Qualitative Inquiry, 20, 157-165. Nelson, G. (2013). Community psychology and transformative policy change in the neo-liberal era. American Journal of Community Psychology, 52, 211-223.