Brave Faces Gallery

Brave Faces are Shasta County residents who share their personal recovery stories to fight stigma related to mental illness, addiction and/or suicide. Their stories break down myths and stereotypes. They highlight commonalities, reducing the “otherness” that stigma creates. They also inspire people to have honest conversations about mental health, making it easier to seek help by removing shame.

Click on a gallery below to get to know our Brave Faces. 


Keith Jackson Portrait

Keith Jackson

Shasta County resident, Keith Jackson, is a proud father, husband and student. Once a repeat offender, Keith shares how he overcame addiction and homelessness and how the stigma surrounding both got in the way of him seeking help.

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Portrait of Denise Green holding treats she baked.

Denise Green

Brave Faces Advocate, Denise Green, believes in living life to its fullest. In addition to being a mother, wife, homesteader, and social worker, she manages a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

“What I’ve learned in life is that as soon as you tell people that you have a condition, they expect less of you. Achieving more is how I break stigma.”

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Portrait of David Wharton

David Wharton

Redding resident and community organizer, David Wharton, pushed through many layers of stigma to reach a place of healing in his life. He manages his anxiety and depression with medication, counseling and volunteer service.

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portrait of a young woman on bridge with river in background

Cherish Padro

New York City native and Redding resident Cherish Padro has learned to manage her bipolar diagnosis despite the stigma she faced from family and well intentioned members of her church.”It’s been a challenging but rewarding journey. I’ve learned how to take care of myself and make the choices that are best for me.”

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Chante Catt with daughter.

Chante Catt

Chante shares how becoming a new mom flooded her with contradictory emotions – joy, anger and depression – and how she wants women to feel safe to discuss the complex emotions many experience as they become a parent.

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Mike Skondin sculpting glass

Mike Skondin

Brave Face, Mike Skondin, a U.S. Marine Veteran, talks about his experiences transitioning back to civilian life with PTSD after serving in Colombia and doing drug interdiction.

“I was constantly doing things to match the adrenaline level I experienced in combat,” says Mike. This drive attracted him and jobs with significant risk of physical injury, and led to substance abuse and two suicide attempts.

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Portrait of Matthew Sprenger

Matthew Sprenger

Matt Sprenger from Anderson shares his story of surviving a suicide attempt as a young teenager and how he is now on the path of recovery. The National Institute for Mental Health reports there are 11 people who survive a suicide attempt for every person who completes a suicide.

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Portrait of Junior

Greg Burgin Jr.

Greg Burgin Jr. “I was born in Redding, and my family’s ancestral village is Turtle Bay. My mother is Mexican and Wintu. My father is

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Portrait of Creanna and Shellisa Moore

Creanna and Shellisa Moore

Creanna and Shellisa Moore share how depression led to a suicide attempt that deeply affected the family. Their journey to recovery and healing has been one they’ve taken together.

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Portrait of Sam Hewitt

Sam Hewitt

15-year-old high schooler and Redding resident Sam Hewitt shares how the death by suicide of her friend Josh two years ago affected her own mental health as well as her classmates’.

Sam is doing much better today with the help of therapy, treatment and music. She is now dedicated to preventing suicide among other Shasta County youth.

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Portrait of Dairrien Call

Dairrien Call

Dairrien Call, a recent Anderson New Technology graduate, shares in his Brave Faces gallery how music, therapy and support from friends has helped him deal with depression, bullying and suicidal thoughts.

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David Martinez playing guitar.

David Martinez

A Whitmore resident and Winnemem Wintu tribal member, David shares how he found peace after struggling with PTSD, racism and addiction.

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Danielle in front of Burney Falls

Danielle Brewster

Shasta County resident Danielle Brewster says that depression and suicidal thoughts can have many different sources. In her Brave Faces gallery, she shares how tragedy, hurtful racism and other factors led her to a deep depression, and how the support of her family and wife, the medicine of her culture and the support of her doctor helped her to move forward and live a happier life.

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Portrait of Mary Graham by a creek.

Mary Graham

Burney resident Mary Graham shares how major depression is an everyday struggle and how support from loved ones and medication has helped her greatly.

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Portrait of Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett “My name’s Michael, and I live in Burney. I want people to know that I belong here. People look down on me. They

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Kay Hicks tearing up labels

Kay Hicks

Kay Hicks, a Burney resident who hates labels and believes she, and everyone else, is much more than any label.

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