Mitch McPherson \ Speaking up, staying chatty, saving lives

Mitch McPherson’s entire world was upended when at the beginning of 2013, his 18 year old brother Ty took his own life.

Immersed in grief, he decided the least he could do was try and keep Ty’s name alive, so, he traced a simple drawing of a pair of shorts, as his little brother was always dressed in footy shorts, along with the words speak up, stay chatty with the TY at the end of 'chatty' capitalised.

Mitch had no idea this simple sketch would be the catalyst for the creation of one of the most acclaimed suicide prevention and mental health promotion programs in the country.

This is an incredible story of vulnerability, strength and the undying love of one man for his little brother, a young life gone far too soon. 

More than 3000 Australians take their life every year, 75% of those male. 

Heartbreakingly, suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 44, that's why movements like Stay Chatty are so vitally important. Mitch's work has saved lives.

In this chat, Mitch and I discuss: his new role as a father to his beautiful little daughter, the impact losing his brother has had on how he'll raise her, how we should be raising young men in today's world by teaching them to be vulnerable, Speak Up Stay Chatty's humble beginnings and how it's grown to what it is today.

A trigger warning - this conversation addresses suicide. 

If you, or anyone you know needs help, 24 hour crisis support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14.

  • You can follow Mitch here and Speak Up Stay Chatty here, and check out their website here.
  • Take a look at Mitch's autobiography "Behind the Smile" here.
  • Get in touch with me: @elizabethanile
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