Meet the Team

B. Michelle Wilks

B. Michelle Wilks Headshot

Michelle is a full-time graduate student and mother of four biological and two step-children. She earned a Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of South Florida in 2016 and in 2017 was accepted to the University of Florida’s Behavioral and Community Sciences PhD Program. She is also an instructor of record at USF, teaching the course Behavioral Health and The Family.

Michelle’s current research areas of interest revolve around the reduction of various forms of stigma that surround individuals with mental illness(es) through contact-based strategies. More specifically, This Is My Brave ( is a powerful contact-based stigma reduction program that works to reduce various forms of stigma through storytelling by individuals with lived experience. Through her research, she hopes to contribute to a shift in the current adverse culture that surrounds mental illness to become a more accepting and empathetic culture where those with mental illness(es) feel welcomed rather than ostracized or discriminated against. Michelle also hopes that her work will positively influence the stigma that surrounds behavioral, emotional, and physical disabilities.

​Current Projects:

Examining the impact of This Is My Brave performances on self-stigma, empowerment, recovery, and treatment-seeking on college-aged cast members who tell their stories.
Examining the impact of watching a live This Is My Brave performance on various forms of stigma in audience members which include multiple populations (college, adult, parent/caregiver, adolescent).

A random controlled trial examining the impact of watching a This Is My Brave Documentary on stigma among service provider employees.

A quasi-experimental study examining the impact of watching a live This Is My Brave performance on stigma, empowerment, recovery and help-seeking behaviors in high school audience members and high school-aged cast members who tell their stories.

B. Michelle Wilks CV