Jessica Hawkins, MA

Director of Community and Systems Initiatives

Jessica Hawkins is the director of community and systems initiatives at Healthy Minds, where she leads the organization's efforts to transform how communities prevent and treat mental illness and substance use conditions.  

With deep expertise in public health and community change projects, Jessica guides and empowers communities to develop strong, well-coordinated ecosystems that can meet residents’ mental health needs.  

In Tulsa, she and her team provided technical assistance and convened stakeholders to apply for two large grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), resulting in $13 million in federal funding for children’s mental health.

In Edmond and Oklahoma City, Jessica has assembled locally led teams to launch new and expanded mental health services. She plays key roles in interagency committees that align first responders and treatment providers to provide best-practice crisis care, including Oklahoma City’s Crisis Intervention Advisory Group, and in working groups to support mental health prevention and intervention services in schools.

Jessica also leads Healthy Minds’ work to prepare Oklahoma cities, counties, and school districts to apply for opioid abatement settlement dollars to fund local projects that correct the harms of the opioid crisis. Additionally, she works with school districts to craft and implement plans for supporting students in mental health crises.

Before Jessica joined Healthy Minds in 2022, she served as chief operations officer at the United Way of Central Oklahoma and had a 16-year tenure at the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. As senior director of prevention services at the department, Jessica oversaw the allocation of private, state, and federal funds to community-based organizations across Oklahoma. She also designed and implemented large-scale initiatives to promote mental wellness and prevent substance use, suicide, and overdose.

Before her time in state government, Jessica was manager of mission integration and youth programs with the California division of the American Cancer Society.  

Jessica holds a master’s degree in administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor's degree in sociology from California State University. She also serves on the advisory board for the SAMHSA-funded Prevention Technology Transfer Center at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.