Sam Hewitt

Portrait of 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.

Mike Skondin

Mike Skondin sculpting glass

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.

“I never wanted to die, I was in so much pain I just wanted it to stop,” said Mike, “I didn’t see another way.” Mike finally got the help he needed to recover through VA and Empire Recovery Center.

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.”

David Martinez

David Martinez playing guitar.

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

Michael Bennett

Portrait of 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 think I’m one of those mental illness cases, but I’m no different than anyone else. I think I fit in better than a lot of people who don’t think there’s […]