Neighbors Assisting Neighbors to Strengthen Solidarity

Uniting Philanthropy and Funders with Organizations and Programs that improve behavioral health in San Diego County

  • Reduce Suicide and Overdose Deaths
  • Increase facility and staffing capacity
  • Support the Continuum of Care Model
  • Treat Justice Involved Mental Health cases
  • Parity for mental health care
  • Prioritizing healthcare workforce
  • Improving access to behavioral healthcare
  • Towards population health
  • Improving support for family caregivers
  • A scorecard for San Diego behavioral healthcare
  • Developing metrics to monitor improvement
  • Evaluating the linkage between programs and population outcomes

Improving Behavioral Health Locally

NANSS Project unites funders & philanthropists with San Diego organizations that are effective at improving behavioral health in our region. 




We provide a forum for non-profits & other service providers to present their action plans to those who can advise, support, & fund their impact.

Suicide Reduction

Our goal is a 20% reduction in the suicide & overdose rates in San Diego County by the end of 2026.

Continuous Improvement

We will monitor overall behavioral health improvement as measured by our regional dashboard.

A Brief History on Mental Health Care

Our country has come full circle in the way we treat people with mental illness. Nearly 200 years ago, public advocate Dorothea Dix began her crusade publicizing the inhumane conditions of those with mental illness who were languishing in jails and prisons. Thomas Story Kirkbride, a Pennsylvania physician, provided a framework for creating and running mental asylums—places of refuge—that would take in and care for these individuals in a clinical manner. 

Over time though, without adequate oversight, many of these institutions devolved into overcrowded and abusive facilities. Rather than implement the necessary supervision, a program of de-institutionalization closed hospitals and established restrictive legislation reducing treatment capacity and providing no comprehensive alternative. 

The last fifty years have seen a piecemeal approach to mental health treatment. Community Mental Health Centers that were supposed to replace state hospitals were never fully funded and no single agency owns the issue of mental/behavioral health care. Many sufferers fall through the cracks with law enforcement becoming the caretaker of last resort and, by default, our jails again becoming warehouses for people with mental illness. 

The path to restoring dignity to those afflicted, respite to their families, and greater community well-being will be successful private sector initiatives. The path will be neighbors assisting neighbors.


Please help us preserve this special place we all love.

To sustain our work, the NHCA needs your financial support. For us, our city citizens, your donation can qualify as a tax deduction.

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