Sam Hewitt has lived in Redding for all 16 years of her life. She previously attended Parsons Middle School, currently attends the Academy of Personalized Learning and is interested in pursuing a career in cosmetology. She enjoys singing and playing the guitar and has previously volunteered to help organize the Out of Darkness Suicide Prevention Community Walk.
In her first three years as a teenager, Sam tragically lost three of best friends to accidents and suicide. When her friend Josh died by suicide in 8th grade, Sam suffered severe depression and her own suicidal thoughts in the aftermath of the trauma. After a difficult period in a psychiatric hospital and negative interactions with counselors, Sam started getting better when she found a therapist at the Redding Rancheria Behavioral Health Clinic who’d listen to her and talk with her like an equal.
Today, Sam is doing well and regularly speaks to youth groups, classes and teachers about her experiences. Depending on the audience, her speech can highlight the following topics:
• Suicide Prevention
• Adverse Childhood Experiences
• Recovery and Families