A technology entrepreneur who has spoken openly about his bipolar diagnosis has taken helm at one of Australia's top mental health charities.
Former professional cricketer and Unlockd co-founder and CEO Matt Berriman has been appointed as chair of Mental Health Australia, pledging to help reform the sector.
"A light has been shone on a myriad of mental health challenges in recent times, but we've also had a line-in-the-sand moment to reflect, review and now re-think how the sector can reform," he said.
"There is a need for change that drives innovation."
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Mr Berriman, who has advised organisations such as NewsCorp and Commonwealth Bank, opened up about his bipolar disorder when he resigned as CEO of his startup Unlockd in 2018.
In an open letter, he said he began to experience symptoms of bipolar disorder while running the company. Unlockd went into voluntary administration months after Mr Berriman resigned in 2018.
"Throughout the journey I began to experience symptoms, which I attributed for far too long to stress, lack of sleep and the start-up rollercoaster. What I did not know at the time was I was fighting a battle with [bipolar] disorder," he said.
"Mental illness continues to be one of the most misunderstood and hidden epidemics of our generation. Like others before me, the decision to make my journey public, is another important step forward in helping engender greater awareness of mental illness."
Robyn Kruk, who has been a director of Mental Health Australia for the past six years, said Mr Berriman would add "a different dimension" to the organisation.
"I'm confident about the future, as Matt's business experience, digital acumen, lived experience and youthful and contemporary mindset will add a different dimension to the existing expertise and knowledge within the organisation's membership network," she said.
Mr Berriman will take over from Ms Kruk following Mental Health Australia's Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, December 8 in Canberra.
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