We're thrilled to announce our Fort Lauderdale This Is My Brave show which is scheduled for April 8th at the Sunrise Civic Center Theatre. Auditions are now open and today we meet the Production team making it all happen!
Prior to my daughter suffering her first psychotic event at 26 years old, I was under the misguided impression that a mental illness meant you were crazy. I had never known anyone that had a mental illness.
I was quite concerned that my beautiful, intelligent, sweet baby girl would be labeled for life and that it would cause people to turn away from her because of that label. I was also afraid that it would impede her employment opportunities and her husband’s employment and her future children would be labeled as well. So In my ignorance, I counseled her to keep it a secret to protect her from my perceived stigma of mental illness.
Thank goodness she decided to take off the veil of secrecy in 2013, and soon after gave birth to This Is My Brave.
I am so very proud of my daughter, Jennifer Killi Marshall and her organization, This Is My Brave!
She has worked tirelessly and it has grown exponentially as a result. I want to help and support her efforts as much as possible in the future and what better way than to produce a This Is My Brave show right here in my own backyard, so to speak! I am thrilled and excited to have my great production team and look forward to working with our community to breaking down the stigma of mental illness for good!
My name is Jessica Millan and I made the decision to join This Is My Brave because at an early age I realized no one wanted to discuss mental health. Everyone avoided topics and it made it difficult to talk about any emotion beyond “I’m Fine.” So I went on to obtain my Bachelor's degree in Psychology. My own experience in my teen years made me realize that learning to understand emotions and how to talk about them at that time could help end the stigma that surrounds mental illness. I am now a graduate student studying to become a school counselor to help children and teens though emotional obstacles with no judgment. This Is My Brave makes me so proud to be apart of; because it helps show people they are not alone.
My desire to support in some small way the This Is My Brave organization comes from my friendship with the Killis, Jenn Marshall's parents. I have witnessed first hand their acceptance and support of what many would have considered a totally devastating illness. The ability to make lemonade out of lemons has been exemplified constantly by both of them and I am in total awe of Jenn who decided to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. My hope is to be able to provide some peace and assurance to other deserving souls and be a positive influence in a tremendously draining and exhaustive time in their lives.
Last but not least, our South Florida Production team is joined by Kristi Messer, MSW, MPH. Kristi serves Nova Southeastern University (NSU) as the Assistant Project Manager of the Institute for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness (IDEP) coordinating the daily operations, institutional & community collaborations, and the funding and publication efforts of the all-hazards interdisciplinary training and research program. She also holds an assistant professorship in Public Health in the College of Osteopathic Medicine offering undergraduate and graduate instruction within the Masters of Public Health program and the Criminal Justice Institute. Kristi is the Executive Director of NSU’s Project HOPE, an innovative pre-doctoral training program to provide medical students with education and opportunities for the provision or primary care services with individuals who are homeless.
Kristi received her BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and completed her Master of Public Health and her Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and we are thrilled to have her on our team.