Grant Waters: Ending the Silence
Until this very day, Grant Waters didn’t know if his older brother, Kyle, committed suicide or not.
Kyle suffered from anxiety, depression and schizophrenia at the time. He was visiting their parents and went to get something out of his car and had been out there for a long period of time when a semi-truck hit him.
“I know he never went there to visit my parents to end his life because he always wanted to get better,” Grant said. “He always expressed it to my mom. … He never really … shared a lot of that stuff with me because I was his (younger) brother and I think he always wanted … to … protect me from it or just … be strong for me.”
Grant said he wishes his brother had opened up more about his struggles with him because even though he knew his brother was struggling, he didn’t know how hard it had been for him.
Grant believes a lot of times people are aware of the mental health issues, but don’t know how serious they are.
“I think he really kept it to himself how bad he was really struggling,” Grant said. “I think, if you think someone is struggling, maybe assume that they need help. … Maybe just give people the benefit of the doubt and help them when they need it because … (there are) a lot of regrets there. … I wish I would have done a lot of things differently.”
He said if he knew that his brother would have passed away so soon, he would have taken more time to be there for him.
“An experience like that really changes you, changes your life perspective, it changes who I am, it changes who my family (is), it changes a lot of perspective, really,” Grant said.
Whether people’s stories are traumatic or small, Grant encourages people to share them because it can help bring more awareness to people around them.
“When you’re struggling with depression or any of those things … you feel alone, and it feels impossible to reach out to other people, but that’s like the one thing that you should do, but it seems … impossible,” Grant said. “It seems like everyone around you would like to help you, but they don’t know how, or you may want help, but you don’t know how to reach out.”
Communicating, for Grant, can be an important tool to help people dealing with mental health challenges to get the help they need.
“I think the one thing that people should know is that mental illness is very real and if you’re sitting in a classroom or at lunch or something, I guarantee that … there are people … that are struggling,” Grant said.
He said an individual’s struggle could be with an abusive parent, losing someone, an illness, anxiety, depression or anything else.
“There are people that are definitely struggling, and they can use your help in some way, and it’s just figuring out how to help them,” Grant said. “It may be something small, it may be something big. Just try to help people out, whatever way you can.”
Add your voice to Grant Waters and end the silence around you.