LIFE'S SHORT: Dad speaks up on mental illness battle
WARWICK businessman Josh Grant is no stranger to throwing his hat in the ring to help a worthy cause, but this time that cause is painfully close to home.
This month Josh and wife Sarah will donate 5 per cent of all sales from both of their businesses, Lux & Bloss and Stand Fast Electrical to the Livin Health Initiative.
The Livin organisation is fighting to encourage people all across the country who may be suffering mental health challenges, telling them that "it ain't weak to speak".
This message carries extra weight for Mr Grant, himself recently diagnosed with anxiety and stress disorder.
"I guess there was a period that I was trying to kid myself that everything was fine," he said.
"I was feeling anxious and having some weird side effects that I just put down to being a normal part of life.
"Eventually I realised there was more to it, but didn't really think it had anything to do with mental health, it could have been anything health related."
When he took the step that so many struggle with and decided to speak with someone, Mr Grant said he was surprised what he heard.
"I described my symptoms and the doctor asked if I'd taken a look at a mental health check list," he said.
"So I did it, there and then and what followed was great and reassuring.
"That stigma about being a sook or not a real man if you can't just suck it up, that's done and dusted.
"When you've got families and other things to think about, you've got to speak up and sort it out before it sorts you out."
Mr Grant said speaking up was like lifting the lid on the pressure cooker.
"It relieves the strain, all that burden that you're putting on yourself.
"I think the way technology is these days, so many people have let their communication skills fall by the wayside.
"People are so dependent on screens, keyboard and mobiles than actually talking to someone.
"It begins to seem easier to sweep everything the rug than address the issue."
After speaking up, things have started to become brighter for Mr Grant.
"Things have been hugely positive since then," he said.
"So much brighter than they were a few weeks ago.
"There's nothing to be ashamed of, life's too short for people to be turning up every day potentially suffering.
"You don't have to move mountains to make a difference to your life."