Scott Hutchison tributes: ‘His music meant so much to people’

Scott Hutchison

Friends from within the Scottish music scene have spoken of the “pure joy” Scott Hutchison brought to their lives – and the impact his music had on his fans.

The Frightened Rabbit singer’s body was found on Thursday night near North Queensferry, almost two days after he was reported missing.

Scott – who had talked openly about his mental health and depression – had written a tweet late on Tuesday saying “I’m away now.”

His friends say his legacy will live on in his music, which helped so many deal with their own struggles.

Roddy Woomble, the lead singer of Idlewild, told BBC Scotland that he struck up a friendship with Scott because of a mutual admiration for each others’ work.

Idlewild
Idlewild singer Roddy Woomble formed a friendship with Scott

Roddy said that when they first met, Scott had told him how he’d grown up listening to Idlewild.

But Roddy was blown away when he started listening to Frightened Rabbit.

‘The soundtrack to people’s lives’

He said: “Frightened Rabbit’s music is beautiful. Scott was an extremely talented songwriter because he could make a connection with his audience. It’s not something everybody can do.

“When you write lyrics that make sense, are honest and from your heart then other people can understand them.

“Songs can have such a big impact, especially if they hit you at the right time in life.

“Frightened Rabbit have been around for 15 years now, so they will have been the soundtrack to some people’s lives. A generation grew up listening to them.

“If you were 15 when you got into them, you are 30 now, and that’s an important and influential portion of your life.

“You remember that kind of music for the rest of your life.

“His music meant so much to people and it’s sad that he felt that alone when he was surrounded by so many people who loved him.”

Frightened Rabbit
Scott Hutchison formed Frightened Rabbit with his brother Grant

Scott had spoken openly about his mental health and his battle with depression.

He talked about it in song lyrics, and sometimes in interviews.

In an interview last year, he said: “Sometimes I wish I had a better mode of communication for when I’m feeling depressed, anxious, any of those things, but it tends to just work itself out into a song.

“That’s the way it’s always been for me.”

Roddy said he had never seen a “darkness” in Scott.

‘I don’t want to believe it’

“You could see in his eyes there was something going on, and obviously through his music and lyrics you could hear it,” he said.

“But my experience of him was one of pure joy – he was a joy to spend time with.

“Once we got to know each other we hung around socially. One of the last times I saw him was at the International Book Festival in Edinburgh last year. Afterwards we went out to Optimo.”

Roddy said he knew Scott as “a gregarious guy”.

He added: “He seemed to love that socialising, the being with people.

“It’s terribly sad and I am devastated. I just don’t want to believe it.

“I knew that Scott struggled with mental health issues and depression but I just didn’t think it would come to this.”

Frightened Rabbit perform at Glastonbury in 2013

Radio Scotland DJ Vic Galloway became friends with Scott after he started playing Frightened Rabbit on his show.

He said: “I considered Scott a friend, not just somebody I play on the radio.

“I have been playing Scott on the radio for more than a decade, probably since about 2006. I champion new music and am always on the hunt for something interesting.

“Then along came Frightened Rabbit.

“I started playing their stuff and featuring them live in session and as a result I got to know him.

“He was a down to earth, funny, straight forward sort of guy which is why I can’t really get my head around all of this.

“He was an emotional guy – you can tell by the lyrics of all of his songs, right from the beginning all the way to the Mastersystem album.”

Frightened Rabbit
Frightened Rabbit in session with Vic Galloway in 2016

He added: “He wore his heart on his sleeve and I could tell when I was hanging out with him that he considered what he was saying all the time.

“Scott was an intelligent man, he checked himself the whole time.

“I tended to see him when he was out and about at gigs or parties, and he was on good form.

“He was a tender guy, but I never thought it would go to this extreme.

“He was always cheerful when I saw him. He might have been cynical about life but he was always laughing at it.

“This is obviously internal angst and the battle he was going through has manifested itself in his actions.

“It was a side that I didn’t see personally very often.”

‘He sang from his heart’

Vic added: “His songs dealt with heartache, mental health, and the day to day trouble and strife that people go through. That’s why it connected with people.

“He sang from his heart, he sang from the bottom of his lungs, he really gave it everything he could on stage and on record.

“Scott’s passing will be mourned in Scotland and across the world.

“The poignant descriptions of the state of his own heart and his own vulnerabilities.

“Those songs will resonate with people for years to come.”

Isabella Goldie, director of development at the Mental Health Foundation Scotland, met Scott when he helped campaign with the charity.

During that time he ran music events, produced a CD and worked with a small music mentoring charity to help people suffering mental health issues to promote their music.

She said he was a generous and kind person, and “nothing was too much to ask of him”.

‘Demons and struggles’

Isabella added: “When I first worked with Scott about 10 years ago, he was really happy and optimistic.

“But over the years it started to become obvious that his moods had become a major issue for him.

“We were all concerned and did reach out to Scott but it’s really difficult for men to speak out and accept that help.

“We have somehow created a society in which it is really difficult for men to come forward and say how they feel.

“Obviously he had his own demons and struggles and it is beyond sad that he couldn’t manage those.”

 

 

Link to BBC article here 

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Documentary to be made on mental health and suicide after death of Glasgow rapper Calum ‘Lumo’ Barnes

A POPULAR Glasgow rapper who died at the age of 21 will feature in a new documentary which is being made to raise awareness of the mental health and suicide crisis in young men.

Calum ‘Lumo’ Barnes was tragically discovered in the River Clyde last September and his death devastated the hip hop community in Glasgow where he gained fame through his band Deadsoundz Inc.

Now documentary maker Hannah Currie will show the impact of Calum’s death in a new film which is currently being made.

“Everyone still talks about him all the time. Everyone shares his music and photos of him. It is very much still fresh in the minds of everyone in the hip hop community.”

A Hip Hop event is being held on May 3 at The Classic Grand in a bid to raise funds to help complete production of the documentary.

The event is called We Are All Here which is inspired by a poem Calum wrote about mental health for See Me Scotland before he died.

Hannah, who lived in the city’s West End for 10 years before moving to London to complete her Masters degree, hopes to widely distribute the film in a bid to save others who are battling with suicidal thoughts.

She said: “The most important thing that Scotland needs right now is to address the mental health crisis. I have suffered from mental health issues myself and there needs to be system on how we will deal with the issue because what you have happen is a lot of people slip through the net.

“People feel they can’t be helped and they start to see suicide as an option.”

She added: “I have done a lot of research and in 2016 our suicide figures rose in Scotland for the first time in six years. It is just not good enough.

“We need to start seeing it as not a taboo thing because it is one of the most common killers of young people in the UK.

“We need to start seeing it as the real threat to our own friends and family. We need to do something about this because this could take somebody that we love. That is the worst nightmare.”

We Are All Here will feature some of Scotland’s most prominent rappers when it kicks of at 7pm.

There will be a rap battle between Loki and Oddacity as well as performances from other well-known names in the scene.

Tickets costing £5 are available from www.skiddle.com.

 

 

Link to Evening Times article here 

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‘So many suffer in silence’ – Brother of young dad found dead raises hundreds for mental health charity

 

Ben, left, with brother Mark, who died last year  

The brother of a young dad who died last year insists tackling mental health is the “most important” issue in society today.

Dozens of heartbroken pals paid tribute to “irreplaceable” Mark Scobie, 26, who was found dead at his flat in Rutherglen last May. The popular shop manager lived with his girlfriend Eilidh, 23, and their toddler daughter, Heather.

Police officer Ben Scobie, 25, is holding a charity football match with family members and pals in support of the Scottish Association for Mental Health – which smashed its £400 target in less than six hours.

Mark was hailed as as “a genuine and kind-hearted soul” by pals
Ben described his late brother as “an amazing man”

Ben, from Mount Vernon, told Glasgow Live: “Mark was an amazing man and more than anything he was a dedicated father to his daughter. We were very close growing up because of how similar in age we were and he was the man who influenced a lot of who I am today and what I enjoy.

“He had a great personality and was always trying to make people laugh with his witty remarks and banter. I want to raise awareness, as mental health issues are more prevalent today than ever before. More people are suffering silently when there are people there to help them – and the option is certainly not suicide.

“When 84 men a week are committing suicide across the UK and a quarter of us will develop a mental health issue each year, there is a major problem with how we deal with mental health. I believe it is the most important issue within society today.”

Mark with girlfriend Eilidh and baby Heather
Eilidh described Mark as the “life and soul of every party”

Former Bannerman High student Mark was hailed on social media as “the most beautiful, kind-hearted person” in a series of emotional tributes last spring as friends and family came to terms with his death.

Former bandmate Tam Moran described Mark as “one of the most kind-hearted and selfless people” he knew, adding: “He always made sure you were having a good time and that you had the biggest smile on your face.”

Adam Samara said of his “irreplaceable” close pal: “You were an anchor for me when I truly was as lost as I’ve ever been. I only wish I could have been there to save you, the way you saved me a thousand times.

“I’ll remember you as the brother I had, held and have lost. I’ll never get the chance to thank you for everything you did for me.”

The 11-a-side football match will be held at Stepford Sports Complex near Easterhouse on Tuesday, May 8 at 8pm.

 

 

Link to Glasgow Live article here 

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Male suicide: ‘His death was the missing piece of the jigsaw’

Statues on top of the ITV Television Centre
Statues have been erected in London to represent the 84 men who take their own lives each week in the UK

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK – 84 take their own lives every week. A new campaign, Project84, aims to raise awareness and sees sculptures placed on the top of a London tower block.

“People say the wounds heal but you still have the scars,” says Jonny Sharples, whose elder brother Simon, 36, took his own life in 2014.

“I remember when it happened. I was at home on my own watching a rerun of Match of the Day and I got a phone call from my sister.

“I was in tears. I went down to see her in Staines, where she lives, and then we saw my parents in Cornwall. It was Christmas, which made it more difficult.

“Simon adored Christmas, even in his thirties he would get up at five in the morning and wake everyone else up to open presents.

“It was difficult to be together [after his death], to look around a room and see he was absent.”

Simon SharplesSimon Sharples took his own life in 2014

Jonny is helping to remember his brother through the Project84 campaign, set up by the charity CALM.

Eighty-four sculptures have been erected on top of London Television Centre, with each figure representing one of the men, each week on average, who ends their life.

The campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevalence and devastating impact of male suicide in the UK. And the fact that mental health issues affect people from all sections of society.

Jonny says of his brother: “He was a normal, level-headed and unremarkable in many respects. But to anyone who knew him he was a really special person. He was always smiling and making you laugh.

“He’d always give you an honest answer, would always give you a helping hand.”

Away from friends and family, though, Simon – a father of one – was suffering. A year of upheaval saw him change jobs and move out of his Preston home. In December 2014 he took his own life.

Simon and Jonny SharplesJonny Sharples says Simon was the “archetypal older brother”

“It’s only with the benefit of hindsight you knew he wasn’t quite himself,” Jonny says.

“When he was watching football or playing golf, doing the things he loved, he was distracted. He was not quite as smiley but was still enjoying himself.

“It’s only with the knowledge that he did end up taking his own life that things fall into place. His death was maybe the missing piece of the jigsaw.”


Marcus Chapman (left) with his friend Nelson PrattMarcus Chapman (left) moved in with Nelson Pratt after knowing him for just a week

Marcus Chapman was 33 when his best friend Nelson Pratt, from Hampshire, and also 33, took his own life.

The two met on a snowboarding course in France and, after just a week, decided to move in together.

“Nelson was very old fashioned British gent, impeccably polite, moral and well-mannered but also incredibly talented,” says Marcus. “He was very self-deprecating. He had the chance to be arrogant but chose to be the opposite.”

Nelson had a successful snowboarding career and became a coach for some of Britain’s Olympic riders.

He had a supportive and loving family, but as his friends began to settle down and have children he found himself conflicted.

“The stage of life he was at, a lot of us were settling down, getting married and having families and I think Nelson had a lot of different pressures,” says Marcus.

“Balancing his snowboarding career with jobs back in the UK. There was definitely a bit of a wrestle there.”

Nelson PrattNelson was a “popular, loved man”

Nelson sought help, however, Marcus feels he was “let down”.

“Nelson went to see his GP, there was a waiting list for therapy and he was given an online course to do. Two days later he took his own life.”

The experiences of men who take their own lives vary, but those left behind are unified on how society should prevent their stories recurring.

They say stigmas and stereotypes need to be abandoned and avenues for support must be opened up.

“The myth is that someone who takes their own life is weak,” says Jonny. “I don’t think for a moment my brother was a weak person. I think he was very strong.

“We need to create a society where men are comfortable to talk about how they are feeling in the knowledge that the person they are speaking to will offer them the best help and solutions they can.”

Marcus adds: “It’s about having those very early conversations, sometimes close family members are the hardest people to talk to. That’s why things like the CALM helpline are so important.

“The only way I dealt with Nelson’s death was to throw myself into his legacy and raising awareness.

“I don’t think Nelson’s family will ever fully recover from the hole that has been left.

“Nelson was such a popular, loved guy – a personality like that doesn’t get forgotten.”

 

 

Link to BBC article here

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Lib Dem leader hails “inspiring” Angus councillor as Tayside mental health documentary goes live

 

Cllr Ben Lawrie, seated, and documentary director Stuart Burns before the showing of their film A Confession Of Depression at Monifieth High School.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has hailed what he believes could be a life-saving Tayside documentary.

Monifieth and Sidlaw Lib Dem councillor Ben Lawrie has been working on a documentary called “A Confession of Depression” over the past couple of years with Dundee filmmaker Stuart Burns.

The documentary is now on YouTube following a screening at Monifieth High School for the people that were involved in the production.

Mr Rennie said: “Ben Lawrie has opened up about his experiences with mental health in order to help others.

“It’s a very generous and inspiring act which could save lives.

“People with poor mental health deserve better than the service they receive from the NHS and other public services.

“I know Ben’s campaign will make a difference on that front too.

“I am proud to have Ben as a Liberal Democrat councillor and one that is so effective at standing up for people.”

Ben Lawrie (right) interviewing Willie Rennie for his documentary.

Mr Lawrie, a fourth-year psychology student at St Andrews University, said he hopes the documentary about his mental health journey will assure others going through similar difficulties “that they are not alone”.

He attempted to take his own life in 2013 as he struggled with depression while studying at Dundee College, despite doing well in his coursework and being in a happy relationship

Mr Lawrie, who is now undergoing private counselling and taking medication to help him through the dark days, was elected to Angus Council in 2017 and has continued to speak openly about his struggles since taking up the post.

He said: “We started producing it based on the blog where I originally went public with my struggles with mental health but we’ve used it as a platform to talk to various groups and charities about their experiences too and to promote the services        that are on offer.

“We’ve spoken to groups like Nightline and Student Services at the University of St Andrews so I’m hoping that young people who will be starting university soon will watch this and find out about what support mechanisms will be in place for them to draw upon when they go to university.

“Hopefully, hearing the stories of myself and others who have lived with mental illness will show others going through the same that they are not alone and they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

 

 

Link to The Courier article here 

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Man died after leaving mental health unit against advice

Lee Evans
Lee Evans was found dead the day after Essex Police were refused the loan of thermal imaging cameras by Essex Fire Service.

A man found dead in secluded woodland had discharged himself from a mental health unit against medical advice a month earlier, an inquest has heard.

Lee Evans, 23, was reported missing from his home in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, on 13 August and was found dead by a passer-by in Orsett the next day.

Senior Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray concluded he killed himself.

The Chelmsford inquest heard Mr Evans was admitted to a mental health assessment unit on 17 July.

He had a history of asthma and depression, the hearing was told.

Tara Merrill, who investigated the Essex Partnership University Trust’s handling of the case, said Mr Evans left the unit in the middle of the night against the advice of doctors.

“It was deemed there was no reason to detain him in hospital under the Mental Health Act,” she said. “He very much wanted to leave.”

‘Very dark place’

The BBC previously revealed how Essex Fire Service had refused a police request for thermal imaging kit it needed to help in its search for Mr Evans, who was classed as a “high risk” missing person.

Mr Evans’ mother Emma told the hearing her son, who had recently had a relationship break-up, was in a “very dark place” at the time of his death.

When he left the family home in August he told his sister Casey that “he could not do this any more”.

Essex Partnership University Trust made a number of recommendations in light of the case, including making discharge assessments more robust.

 

 

Link to BBC article here 

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