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NEWS BROADCAST May 21, 2006 11:00 pm US/Central
Family Displays Bipolar Victim's Art
New Foundation Aims To Raise Awareness


Shannon Hori Reporting

(CBS 11 News) Plano, TX -- The family of a local teen is trying to raise awareness about the mental disorder that took their son’s life.

19-year-old Grant Halliburton was featured in a newspaper as a musician, a writer and an artist.

“It would have been wonderful to see how someone with these multi-talents would have tied them all together,” said his mother, Vanita Halliburton. “It wasn’t meant to be.”

Last November, Grant took his own life.

Grant’s family says that although he was smiling and outgoing, he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a manic-depressive illness.

“Who knows?” said his mother. “I can’t tell you the reason why. But my supposition is that the undertow was just too hard to fight.”

Grant’s father, Alan Halliburton, said, “He’s the one I wish the whole world could have known.” And after a pause, “It’s very hard. Sorry.”

Now many are getting to know the Plano West Senior High School graduate through the work he left behind. So many pieces, now lining the walls of the Plano Art Centre.

“Just to be able to stand and know he did this with his hands,” said his sister, Amy. “He created that.

His family is hoping this exhibit will help raise awareness about bipolar disorder, a disease affecting nearly 6-million people.

“All of a sudden I want to talk about it,” said Amy. “And do what we can to help others. It’s important now.”

According to medical experts, one in six people with bipolar disorder will commit suicide. Medication can help. Grant was on it, and he had spent 30 days in a hospital after telling his mother he needed help. But Dr. Trish Suppes at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center says coping is more difficult for those who are younger. “They may not know how to kind of work with their own thoughts and to realize this will pass,” said Dr. Suppes. “There’s more impulsive behavior associated with late adolescence and early childhood.”

Grant’s family has started a foundation in his name and awarded $5,000 to the Plano ISD to train counselors to recognized early signs in kids who may need help.

“He loved to help people,” said Grant’s mother. “If we can help in his name and continue in his honor, his memory, that’s great.”

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)


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