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Mitch Wallis is a social entrepreneur and founder of the viral online mental health movement Heart on My Sleeve.

After graduating with a commerce degree, Wallis joined the technology industry for seven years before opening up on social media about his struggles with mental ill-health. Having struggled with severe and debilitating mental illness symptoms for most of his life, Wallis is a refreshing voice for change in the way we talk about mental health. He speaks to LSJ in the lead-up to his appearance at the 2019 FLIP Conference in Sydney in July.

Why is a movement like Heart on My Sleeve important?

Mental health is the single biggest issue facing our generation. It’s the global warming of public health. Things aren’t getting better – in fact, they’re getting worse. Heart on My Sleeve (HOMS) is determined to make a positive impact. It has become the go-to platform for giving people a voice online and empowering their story. There’s a certain realness and authenticity to our approach and community that is cutting through. HOMS is flipping the conversation from RUOK to I’M NOT OK, empowering those going through it to speak up. We can’t just wait to be asked or expect our supporters to be mind-readers. This is validated further with the launch of our service provider arm of the organisation that is offering workshops, training and consulting to organisations and individuals around how to have real conversations in safe ways. I’m excited about our ability to shift the behaviour, not just awareness, of mental health in Australia.

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