Suicide prevention leader and founder of SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY
TASState RecipientYoung Australian of the Year2017
When his younger brother took his own life in 2013, Mitch McPherson turned his devastating loss into a successful suicide prevention charity. Mitch has channelled his energy and ideas into SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY, which honours his brother Ty and spreads the message that it’s OK to not be OK. Starting with bumper stickers, Mitch has since raised more than $270,000 through running events, golf days and gala balls. He has more than 20,000 followers on Facebook, and has spoken to more than 300 school groups, workplaces and sporting clubs to help people understand that nothing is so bad that it can’t be shared. Now working full-time as a youth suicide prevention project officer with Relationships Australia Tasmania, their new Schools program “#TeamChatTY” helps students build resilience and have a greater knowledge of where to access help when going through a difficult time. Mitch’s vision is that SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY will become a national charity. Demonstrating personal resilience, care for others, and a deep understanding of how to turn adversity into opportunity, Mitch has personally helped hundreds of Tasmanian students and families.