Scott Hutchison’s family on the rallying cry to support youth mental health

Tiny Changes charity say: "Youth mental health has never been under so much strain, but there has never been a better opportunity to do something about it”

To mark World Mental Health Day, the charity set up by the family of the late Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison have thanked the many who have raised money for them so far, while also encouraging others to support youth mental health at this vital time.

Scott Hutchison passed away in May 2018 after taking his own life and years of battling depression. In his memory, his family set up the Tiny Changes charity to fund and find inventive ideas of how to improve mental health services for young people.

Now Tiny Changes, who marked their one year anniversary as a charity back in May, are ploughing ahead to do more good work in the face of challenging times – with the help of some very valuable supporters.

“This year has been a difficult one for so many around the world, yet we feel constantly inspired by charities and individuals closer to home who are trying to make tiny changes where they can,” a spokesperson told NME. “Over the past six months, we’ve put in to action our emergency COVID-19 fund, assisting other children and young people’s charities in Scotland, and highlighted its importance during our Tiny Gigs event which featured Frank Turner, Cloth, Tim Burgess and more. We feel that now more than ever we need to be actively supporting those young people who have felt isolated, anxious and alone over recent months.”

Stephen Kirley raised money for Tiny Changes on a charity bike ride. Credit: Andrew Cawley
Stephen Kirley raised money for Tiny Changes on a charity bike ride. Credit: Andrew Cawley

“We’d like to quickly shout out a few examples of individuals who feel the same way as us, raising money in many different ways. The incredible Stephen Kirley has cycled over 2000km between different football stadiums across the UK with the aim of raising money for Tiny Changes whilst furloughed. Louisa Wood (Eala Jewellery) continues to fundraise for us with her F’Rabbit cross necklaces, while having recently become a mum and also working as a full time nurse during the pandemic. We’ve even got Charlotte Bibby at Echo Lab Studios in Perth releasing a charity single at Christmas called ‘Little Drummer Girl’.”

They added: “Youth mental health has never been under so much strain, but there has never been a better opportunity to do something about it.”

Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchison

Scott’s own struggles with anxiety as a child inspired the nickname Frightened Rabbit, before it was adopted by the group. Tiny Changes, set up by brother and bandmate Grant, his mother, and other brother Neil, have spent the last few months rolling out their first funding to help young people with similar mental health issues.

“Young people need a lot of help and attention, and it’s something that affects almost everybody,” Grant told NME back in May. “Not every young person will suffer from poor mental health, but our approach is a preventative one. We want to give them the tools and the skills to deal with it, even when they’re at a point when they don’t need them.

Grant went on: “The lack of understanding is the main thing I’ve been surprised by. I haven’t suffered in the same way that Scott did or in the way that a lot of the people that we will be helping have, and it’s an almost impossible thing to wrap your head around if you haven’t felt those emotions – but, it doesn’t take a lot to try and empathise, even if you can’t fully comprehend it.”

The coronavirus lockdown has also put a strain on mental health services, pushing Tiny Changes to set up a relief fund to help young people in underprivileged areas stay connected and try to provide more online counselling.

“We can’t really ignore what’s going on,” said Grant. “This is going to have a huge impact on young people. A lot of funding seems to have been cut off or put on hold since this crisis took hold. It seems ridiculous that such a vital thing would happen at a time like this, when so many other things are being taken away.”

Click here for more information and to donate to the Tiny Changes mental health charity in memory of Scott Hutchison. 

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