Dont suffer in silence Badgers talk mental health with school kids

It must have taken unimaginable strength to do what Denise Grummett did Thursday in Bob Davis Gymnasium.In front of 600 school kids only a few years younger than her son was when he took his own life in June, 2015, Grummett stood at centre court and told them to do what Tyler Grummett didn’t: Talk with someone if they’re feeling like life is too much to handle.There’s no shame in admitting you need help. You don’t have to suffer in silence.“You spend most of your waking hours at school. Your teachers, your administration and your friends see you every day. They are some of the most important people in your lives who you can share what’s troubling you with,” she said. “There’s no shame in admitting you need help. You don’t have to suffer in silence.”Grummett, a Brock alumna, was one of six guest speakers who addressed the crowd of Grade 6, 7 and 8 students from across Niagara who came to Brock Thursday for Don’t Hide in the Den, the second annual men’s basketball team Badgers Speak Out event, this time with mental health being the focus.Afterward, Grummett said she was glad to share her story with the students.“I would never have thought mental illness would touch our lives because our son did suffer in silence. We had no idea something was bothering him. He didn’t confide in his friends. He didn’t confide in us,” she said. “We don’t know what was bothering him on the inside and we still don’t know.”Tyler Grummett was a star basketball player at E.L. Crossley secondary school in Fonthill and attended a Brock basketball training academy. But instead of one day suiting up for the Brock Badgers varsity team, there’s now a memorial tournament held here each December in his name.While her message to students was to talk to someone, Denise Grummett’s message to parents is to keep asking questions.“How was school today? Is something bothering you? How are you feeling? I wish we had asked different questions. Maybe we could have discovered what was bothering him,” she said.I was so afraid that they wouldn’t be there for me, but they were. They supported me and they got me the help I needed.Also speaking Thursday were Badgers men’s basketball head coach Charles Kissi, graduated player Matt Marshall, current player Nolan Mackenzie, Brock Department of Child and Youth Studies Professor John McNamara, and Matthew Beard, an E.L. Crossley schoolmate of Grummett’s who said he has also dealt with mental health issues.“One in three people might struggle with mental health in their lives,” Beard said. “What I did was I told somebody. I told my friends, my teachers and my parents and I was so afraid that they wouldn’t be there for me, but they were. They supported me and they got me the help I needed.”McNamara said kids should look at mental health like any other injury or illness.“Talking about it is like going to the hospital to get a cast on a broken arm or taking an Advil for a headache,” he said.Grummett hopes the elementary school students left Brock University Thursday afternoon knowing help is out there.“They don’t need to suffer alone,” she said.

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