Using the power of conversation and community to improve Mental health care.
Supporters Include:
activepath logo
The vision for THE REAL is to build a community to support and foster the mental health and well being of men across the globe. We intend to do this by questioning societal narratives, providing space for expression, and encouraging peers to be seen authentically amongst each other. By helping men to heal we hope to extend the impact to their children, families, and beyond.
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the Real Change =

conversation
The first Real Talk was given on June 6, 2023 in Chicago, where founder Shawn shared his story of struggle with anxiety and depression in a TED-like style to a room of successful business men. This talk was met with such enthusiasm that he rolled it out to 10 more cities, and now we want to expand our reach by booking talks in 100 cities worldwide.
community
The Real Community started out as Founder Shawn and his mental health sponsor Brent taking daily walks and talking through the pain. This created a model for peer-to-peer help that we offered to the first 300 members and now want to roll out to 10,000 more members.
Contributions
The Real Contributions Is based on founder Shawn’s previous experience creating ecosystems. We are going to extend the model to the nascent Mental Health ecosystem by creating 3 research reports to identify the best innovators and funders in the space, and to re-grant a portion of funds to underserved not-for-profits.
Ronald Diamond
Founder & CEO, Diamond Wealth • TIGER 21 Chair
“THE REAL resonated with not some of the people, this resonated with every person at the event. We never had more engagement with speakers.”
Paul Sullivan
Founder, The Company of Dads
“Shawn uses his friendships & humor to draw audiences into a very serious and important conversation around men’s mental health.”
Aneesh Chaudhry
Founder & CEO, Soul Physio
“Our community is a place where support turns into friendship, where sponsors and members walk together, proving the power of peer-to-peer healing.”
Drew FitzGerald
Co-Founder, 501cThree
“Just as Shawn pioneered Impact Investing, The Real Capital is trailblazing in the Mental Health ecosystem, supporting innovation and underserved not-for-profits.”
Nelson Serrano
President, Tronosys
“Donors are the heartbeats of The Real Mental Health Foundation, breathing life into the mission to heal hearts and minds, I'm proud to be one.”
Darryl Woods
Executive Director, Coaches Vs. Racism
Anyone that has the courage to tackle mental health in any capacity, deserves the game ball. Here, our friends at The Real Foundation, deserve that BALL!
MEET THE TEAM
Shawn Lesser
Founder & Speaker
Co-Founder @bigpathcapital, Founder @sustainableworldcapital, International Equity @morgankeegan @deutschebank
Anthony Placet
Operations & Brand
Founder @savethatname, @luvbucks Investor @mercury, @replit, Marketing @mitsloan @americanapparel
Heather Kelly
Managing Director
Founder @aurawellbeing, Impact Director @kyanhealth, Customer Success Lead @oliva, Director of Content @makeadifferencesummits
MEET THE ADVISORS
James Flowers, PhD, CSAT, LPC-S
Pain & Wellness
Founder @jflowershealthinstitute, @kemahpalmsrecovery, @healthtrust, Adjunct Professor @samhoustonstate, Co-Founder @driftwoodrecovery
Manoj Panjwani
Social Impact
Board Member @finpublica, Co-Chair @catalyst2030, Board Director @knology Head Of Risk @hsbc, Adjunct Faculty @columbiauniversity
Jen Libby
Policy Changemaker
CEO & Founder @promly, Psychotherapist @jenlibby Board Trustee @saintelizabethacademy, Assistant Principal @guiffordschool
Psychiatric Practicioner
CEO @onrisecare, Chief Medical Officer @americanacademyofathletementalhealth
Steve Gerald III
Head of DEI
Director Business Development @onehealth, Cyber Security @usga, Founder @g.i.r.l.inc @teamtakeoverbasketballclub
Linsey Morrison
Social Impact
Founder @sunnysprings Advisor @identiq, @socialnees, @flourishlabs Impact @eventbrite, Legal @walmart @meta
ACADEMIC ADVISORS
David Somekh
Heath and Wellness
Director @europeanhealthfururesforum, Fellow @europeansocietyforqualityinhealthcare
Marshall Duke
Psychology
Professor @emoryuniversity