Samantha Matthews

Samantha Matthews
Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School, and Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND


M.P.A., University of Pennsylvania; B.A. in political science, communication, University of Pennsylvania


Samantha Matthews (she/her) is a Ph.D. student in the Community-Partnered Policy and Action stream at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. Her research is focused on behavioral health, criminal justice, and workforce resilience. This work includes examining the launch of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; assessing implementation of 911-988 diversion; understanding wages, recruitment, and retention in the homeless response sector; and developing a research agenda related to people with disabilities in the justice system.

Prior to RAND, she worked in local government in the San Gabriel Valley of LA County, where she partnered with municipalities and police departments to implement homelessness, housing, and COVID-19 response programs. Her dissertation is partnered with six cities and police departments in the San Gabriel Valley to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of SGV CARE, a mental health alternative response program.

She has an M.P.A. and a B.A. in political science and communication from the University of Pennsylvania.

Selected Publications

Samantha Matthews, Jonathan H. Cantor, Stephanie Brooks Holliday, Armenda Bialas, Nicole K. Eberhart, Joshua Breslau, Ryan K. McBain, "National preparedness for 988—the new mental health emergency hotline in the United States," Preventive Medicine Reports, 33, 2023

Samantha Matthews, Jonathan H. Cantor, Stephanie Brooks Holliday, Nicole K. Eberhart, Joshua Breslau, Armenda Bialas, Ryan K. McBain, "Mental Health Emergency Hotlines in the United States: A Scoping Review (2012–2021)," Psychiatric Services, 2022

Abraham, Lisa, Sarah B. Hunter, Samantha Matthews, and Alex Sizemore, Living Wages in Los Angeles County's Homeless Response Sector, RAND Corporation (RR-A2266-1), 2023

Cantor, Jonathan H., Stephanie Brooks Holliday, Ryan K. McBain, Samantha Matthews, Armenda Bialas, Nicole K. Eberhart, and Joshua Breslau, Preparedness for 988 Throughout the United States: The New Mental Health Emergency Hotline, RAND Corporation (WR-A1955-1-v2), 2022