Scott Hutchison could be alive if he had access to support services, mother says

Frightened Rabbit lead singer Scott Hutchison could be alive today if he had access to appropriate mental health support services, his mother has said.

Hutchison’s body was found at Port Edgar near South Queensferry in May 2018 after he killed himself, which led his brothers and bandmates Neil and Grant to launch the charity Tiny Changes.

Marion Hutchison said she believes her son would have had a “good chance” of coping better with episodes of anxiety, depression and fear if he had had better support.

The retired teacher was speaking to the Rt Rev Martin Fair – moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland – as part of his video interview series, It’s a Fair Question.

Ms Hutchison told the minister her son felt safe and secure at the family home in Selkirk while growing up – but found social situations difficult.

She added that the Tiny Changes team have been determined to “use the voice” her son gave them to call for better support services across the country.

Ms Hutchison said: “Scott was probably best known as the lead singer/songwriter of the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit.

“But to me and to his family and to his close friends, he was just the most creative, the funniest, the most honest and the kindest person that I’ve ever met.

“Scott was certainly in quite a dark place during the last couple of months of his life but the rest of the time he wasn’t, it was intermittent.

“He had a great life and he followed his dream, he reached out to people and it’s just so sad that he didn’t have the help, he didn’t know where to go.

“If Scott had got the help when he needed it and had somewhere to go in his head or physically when he was struggling, I believe that he would have had a good chance.”

Dr Martin Fair with Marion Hutchison
Dr Martin Fair with Marion Hutchison

After being “devastated” by Hutchison’s death, Dr Fair decided to take action and last year led the rollout of three mental health support services at St Andrew’s Parish Church in Arbroath, Angus, where he is minister.

During the interview he highlighted figures suggesting there were 784 probable suicides in Scotland in 2018 – 581 of which were men.

He said: “I have nothing but admiration for Marion – her courage in the face of such a tragedy and her commitment to see things change.

“Covid-19 has had a serious detrimental effect on mental health and we need statutory and voluntary services like Tiny Changes like never before.

“The name of the charity is inspired by a Frightened Rabbit song lyric which reads, ‘While I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth’.

“Just imagine all of us being more aware, doing something to make a difference. Lots of tiny changes add up to big change.”