Brave Expressions started with a group of 3 graduating seniors at University of Washington, Seattle. Studying together in the design program, they grew close with their shared experiences and stories of mental health. Realizing the power and healing that comes from sharing, they decided to begin Brave Expressions as a passion project during their junior year. After many interviews, much research, and countless long nights working together, Brave Expressions began to take shape and eventually became their capstone project, leading to the site you are on today and the formation of a nonprofit. We are so excited to see our visions for this platform come to fruition, and hope you are able to experience the same sense of healing from reading and sharing stories as we do.
We decided to name our platform Brave Expressions because we wanted the name to reflect the goal of our platform. After discussing with an early participant about our vision with the project, they suggested using the word “brave” - because in essence, that is exactly what creators in this community are. By sharing their stories and experiences for others to learn from, our creators are illustrating their bravery. So to all of our creators, thank you for choosing to be brave. For all of those who are silently struggling, we hope you can learn and find what you are looking for from this space.
“The process of creating Brave Expressions has been incredibly healing for me. It has been amazing to interview people around the world and learn that we all have shared experiences and struggles--it helps me to not feel so alone in my own journey. I hope that others can visit Brave Expressions and feel a similar sense of connection, hope, and encouragement to share their truth”
“Working on Brave Expressions has been amazing. This past year has allowed me to personally grow, forge strong relationships with my co-founders, learn about so many other people’s experiences, and begin to build this strong community. There is still so much to be done in the area of mental health, and I am excited for the journey that we are on!”
“Brave Expressions is a project of the heart. It all started when I bonded with Bridget, Sarah, and other friends over similar mental health struggles, and discovered how shared experiences and stories can foster healing and connection. I hope that with Brave Expressions, others can feel liberated by sharing their story, and to find solace in knowing that they’re not alone in their struggles.”
Our community values are in place because this space is meant to be a place where people of all struggles and walks of life feel comfortable sharing their stories. As a result of the vast differences in backgrounds and opinions, we found it necessary to lay out three key values that are the core of our platform in an effort to make BraveSpace a true community.
Sharing about mental health is not easy. We vow to accept, validate, and show support for those who share their story.
Mental health is complex, intersecting with different facets of identity such as ethnicity, gender, and religion. We vow to respect others and create a space where all belong.
Everyone’s experience is unique. When encountering stories that are different from our own, we vow to listen with no judgement.