Joanna Mattson, RN (Josie) (she/her) has been a registered nurse for 13 years, working in both the acute hospital setting and in community health. For the last 5 years she has worked with people experiencing homelessness in Skid Row, Los Angeles, doing outreach, street and clinic based care, and patient care management. Her work gives her a direct view of the barriers to care people with mental illness face when they engage with medical systems, especially when they are also experiencing systemic racism, homelessness, and complex trauma.
Josie’s interest in advocacy for people experiencing mental illness is informed by her personal experience. Her mother suffered from mental illness and homelessness, and passed away in 2010. Her twin brother lives with schizoaffective disorder, and at times experienced homelessness himself. He is currently thriving.
Josie’s work embodies the values of solidarity, compassion, and radical inclusion. She believes in a future where those who are differently abled, in all ways, are fully included into families and communities, and given the resources and support to explore their lives fully.
Josie also loves making metal jewelry (a craft she learned from her mother), drag queens, and spending time in the Mojave desert.
When Josie met Cary McQueen in 2010, their mutual passion for art and mental health advocacy ignited a collaborative friendship. As an advisory board member for AWI, Josie focuses on judging for the film competition, advocacy, and outreach.Back to Our People