On Tuesday night’s episode of SAS Australia, Jett Kenny, son of former Olympians Lisa Curry and Grant Kenny, opened up about the death of his sister Jaimi.
Jaimi Kenny tragically passed in September 2020 at the age of 33, with her parents announcing at the time that the cause of death was a “long-term illness”.
Jett candidly opened up on the show, revealing his sister’s mental health, and her death had impacted him in a major way.
Speaking to the group, Jett said he constantly feels as if he isn’t “good enough”.
“I set my standards very high. But if I don’t get them I put it all back on myself, and I let that affect me heaps, I guess a way I became like that was with my sister.”
He continued to tell his story, saying his sister struggled with her mental health for 15 years, but it was hard for him to understand at the time.
“For me it was just like ‘why are you doing this to yourself?’ I never fully understood it,” he said.
The 26-year-old said his sister once asked him a question, and his response was supposed to serve as a “reality check”.
“There was one thing I said at her funeral. I’m not going to say it because it was very personal, but I remember saying it to her the night that she asked me this question. I gave her the honest truth and I was hoping that was the harsh reality that she needed, hearing it from her younger brother, but she’s gone now.
“I kind of regret not being there for her more.”
Jett said he and his family stood by Jaimi’s side through her toughest moments, providing her with the support she needed.
“We did everything we could as a family and for Jaimi to try to bring her out of it but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. She got told she wasn’t gonna make it to 30. She got to 33,” he said.
“To me, it’s like you have the willpower to change your life and turn things around, but that is me. I can’t speak for someone who is going through mental health issues because I’ve never been there.”
His high expectations for himself have proven to be detrimental, as he struggles when he doesn’t meet them.
“Everyone wants to do the best that they can for the people that they love, but when you can’t it makes you question yourself. ‘Was I a good enough brother?’”
Towards the end of the episode, Jett reflected on the tragedy and said he’s going to use Jaimi’s strength to keep moving forward in the competition.
“Everyone knew Jaimi as the bright, bubbly person that she was but when you’ve got to live with mental health every single day, it’s not just sunshine and rainbows. It’s the dark storm and the rain that comes with it.
“That’s my eldest sister. I still love her, but you can only offer so much. When it comes down to anyone with mental health, you don’t really know what they’re going through and you never will.”
If you or someone you know needs support around mental health, please visit Beyond Blue to discover resources and services that can help.