Joanna Mattson Gonzales, RN (Josie) has been a registered nurse for 7 years, working in both the acute hospital setting and in outpatient community health. Her professional experience with mentally ill patients allows her to see first hand the long term health consequences of mental illness, and the damaging effects of stigma when these patients interact with the healthcare system. Her interest in advocacy for the mentally ill is also informed by personal experience. In 2003, Josie’s twin brother was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Since then, she has been a fierce advocate for him as he navigates the mental health system, and a voice for ending stigma. She writes about her personal experience in her blog, Pocket Full of Diamonds, and tweets @JoannaMattson. Josie is also an artist, working small scale with metal. Some of her work can be seen at www.josiemattsondesigns.com.
When Josie met Cary McQueen in 2010, their mutual passion for art and mental health advocacy ignited a collaborative friendship. As a board member for AWI, Josie focuses on fundraising, outcomes measurement, and outreach.
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