Joseph Mango assists with the HEArts Program at the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society. Within this role, Joseph has led a number of initiatives reducing the stigma of mental illness through the power of storytelling. He produced a research project/play, We See You, Sis, about five resilient African American women living in South Los Angeles with a mental illness for a California Arts Council grant, The Center Cannot Hold opera, based on the award-winning memoir by Dr. Elyn Saks, which followed Dr. Saks’ journey of living with schizophrenia and finding hope for recovery, and a live reading of his screenplay, James Dean America, which won the 2014 NYU Dramatic Writing Screenplay Showcase and was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest. Joseph’s play about depression/anxiety, The One With Friends, was produced at UCLA in 2016 and 2017 as part of the California Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health. In a unique collaboration with health services researchers, Joseph was the Principal Investigator on the innovative study for this play that generated scientific evidence to support change in audience attitudes and stigmatizing beliefs around depression. He was a 2019 HUMANITAS New Voices finalist for his mental health related TV script, Rebel Hearts.
In addition, Joseph is the media coordinator/videographer for the UCLA-DMH Public Mental Health Partnership, a collaboration to improve empathy and sensitivity among outreach workers in their work with vulnerable populations, such as those living with serious mental illness and homelessness in Los Angeles County. He earned his MFA at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2014 and received his BA in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. Joseph has a passion for storytelling (screen/tv writing, playwriting) with the goal of making positive social impacts and increasing compassion through his writing, inspired by his work at UCLA. Previously, Joseph has worked as a production assistant and video playback production coordinator for feature films and television shows. Joseph also co-wrote/co-produced a short film regarding depression and the Community Partners in Care study that was accepted into publication.