His Frightened Rabbit bandmate calls for action rather than just 'promises'
Hutchison died back in May after taking his own life following a battle with depression. In his first interview since Scott’s passing, Grant said that he thought people should be much more open about discussing their mental health. Now, he’s lent his support to Scotland’s new suicide prevention strategy – but said there needs to be action than “promises”.
The plans seek to reduce suicide rates by 20% by 2022. Among the measures, the Scottish government promise compulsory training on suicide prevention for all NHS staff and reviewing all suicide deaths.
“I certainly don’t want to talk ill of GPs – I’m not saying they’re not doing their job,” Grant told STV. “But that’s another thing that was a good point in the strategy: more mental health training and making it mandatory for NHS staff.
“I actually couldn’t believe that that wasn’t a thing already, if I’m honest.”
Speaking of his wider awareness of people taking their own lives since the loss of his brother, Grant said: “In the time that it took between Scott going missing and us finding him, going by the statistics of suicide rates in Scotland, five, six other people had done it. They didn’t get that support. They didn’t have thousands of people tweeting them. They didn’t have offers of people setting up Just Giving pages for their family.”
Arguing that 1,000 people in Scotland took their own lives in the time it took for the plans to come together alone, Grant said that now is the time for the government to take action – and for the people to ensure that they do.
“Now is the point for us – everyone, I mean – to put the pressure on for them to do it,” Grant added. “Don’t just read this strategy and go: ‘Oh, cool, they’re doing this.’ That’s not what that is – that’s a promise to do it and we need to make sure that they do and that the targets that they’ve set, which I don’t think are particularly ambitious but are achievable, are met.
“And if they’re not, then we need to make some noise about that.”
Speaking to NME about being more open about mental health a few months before his death, Scott Hutchison said: “I hate the idea that opening up is in any way emasculating. Even if it fucking is, who cares? It’s good to lay yourself a bit bare, and you’ll feel a bit better for it. But don’t think we’re all the way there yet.
“Not enough is moving forward for us up to this point. And that’s one of those things that you’d expect to be progressing a lot faster. But there’s sometimes regression in these things, and I don’t really understand that. It’s hard when men should be at their most open but are clamming up again or taking objection to the way that they see the gender discussions going.
“Now is the time for men to be as gentle and open and emotionally fluent as they can be, I suppose.”
Frightened Rabbit have been asking fans to donate to the Scottish Association For Mental Health in Hutchison’s memory.
FOR HELP AND ADVICE ON MENTAL HEALTH:
- ‘Am I depressed? – Help and advice on mental health and what to do next
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day