The Hobart

Stay Chatty Marks Ten Years

by Hobart Magazine
Stay Chatty Marks Ten Years

SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY was founded ten years ago by Hobart’s Mitch McPherson and has become a critical part of the mental health landscape in Tasmania. As he approaches this milestone, Mitch has reflected on his journey.

10 years, how do you feel when you think of that? I used to imagine in the early early days whether I’d still be doing this around this milestone. I can’t believe it. I’m grateful, I’m overwhelmed, I’m happy. I’m proud. I’m all the emotions for such a big occasion.

What are some highlights for you? I think it’s the highlights that have kept me going. Focusing on the highs, the positive outcomes and the achievements is what has made it durable for me. I am amazed at the team we have. And I sit back and think these guys and girls have part time and full time jobs doing something they bloody love and are passionate about, because of something I started. That honestly gives me goosebumps. Lives have been saved, changed, and I know we pioneered change for Tasmania to stand up and make mental health an important thing to focus on.

Mitch with his wife Shahar and their cute kids on Shorts Day

How has your passion changed from the start to now? Early days it was more about my story. My brother. My sadness, my pain, my heartache, my own tragedy. But throughout these ten years I have met so many others who also carry this burden. And in a sense I feel I’ve loaded their burden onto me and now think about them and feel their pain when I share. My story allowed others to come forward and share – that’s a wonderful thing and something that I think inspires me still. Knowing that I’m not alone when I relive my pain.

What do you love most about the brand you created? I love that we are respected, I love that we are a beacon of hope for so many. I love that we are thought of as a pillar of support through tough times. The messages, calls and emails we have received the past decade are an indication that Tasmania and abroad clicked with us and needed us. I’m so proud of that.

What’s been your greatest learning? Discovering my ‘Why’. Knowing and having a full understanding of why I do what I do. When I lose my way, feel sad or feel discouraged, I think about why I do this. That has allowed me to stay on track and get the toughest of things done even when I didn’t want to. My why is my kids and their future, and also my parents and knowing I am using their pain to raise awareness.

Who do you feel grateful for? My wife Sahar, she was there when Ty died. She held me on the street whilst I fell apart that night. She has held me ever since and always had my back. My family and friends, the kind words, attending events. My kids gave me a new lease on it all. They became part of my why. Our team. Those present and past, who all gave and give so much to our mission. Relationships Australia Tasmania (Mat Rowell and Michael Kelly) for that opportunity in giving me a job in this space all those years ago and trusting that young tradie and believed in him to make a difference.

For more information about SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY head to www.staychatty.com.au.

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February 2024

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