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Highland band and Still Game TV star make health video at Inverness College UHI


By Neil MacPhail


Torridon with Still Game star Scott Reid.
Torridon with Still Game star Scott Reid.

Highland folk rock band Torridon have hooked up with Still Game star Scott Reid – aka Methadone Mick – in a compelling bid to encourage men not to fear talking about their mental health problems.

Many believe it is this stigma that leads to men bottling their feelings and descending into despair which can lead to suicide.

Torridon frontman Kenny Smith said they were soon to launch their new single, Lighthouse, along with a video starring Scott which tackles this serious mental health issue.

Kenny said their approach to Inverness College UHI as a location was received very positively, and a mix of students took part as extras.

He said: “I was writing this song about a young man and how he had to keep his head held high and it developed into him having to keep his ‘lighthouse’, a kind of metaphor for his soul or mind.

“Basically it became a song about a guy who has hit rock bottom, but found a way to come out of it. A lot of young men are not able to do that, sadly.

“Every one of us has his cross to bear in their life so it is better to be able to open up about what is bothering you.”

He added tragedy had recently hit “close to home” in the band and they resolved to do their bit to try and prevent despair and suicide.

“This is a video and track very close to our hearts, aiming at men’s mental health, and we hope gives the correct message,” he said.

They needed someone to make the message hit home, ideally someone with a comedy background.

“One of our pals is friendly with Scott so an approach was made and he said he knew about the band and would be happy to do it,” said Kenny.

“We spoke to UHI and suggested that many of our target audience would be at the heart of their university and they were 100 per cent behind us, as were Police Scotland and the suicide prevention umbrella charity Choose Life.

“We are telling people it is OK not to be OK, to watch the video and listen to the words. If only one guy changes his mind, then our job is done.”

A May 24 launch is planned, the week before the sell-out Gathering gig at the Northern Meeting Park, Inverness, on June 1 when Torridon will be among a star-studded line-up.

A spokeswoman for Inverness College UHI said: “Mental health and the challenges people face is a growing problem and we were happy to support Torridon by providing a venue to shoot their music video. It was a great experience for the students who took part, particularly our drama and media students who gained valuable insight into the skills and techniques required to shoot a video of this kind.”

A spokeswoman for Inverness College UHI said: “Mental health and the challenges people face is a growing problem and we were happy to support Torridon. It was a great experience for the students who took part, particularly our drama and media students who gained valuable insight into the skills and techniques required .”

Inverness College is committed to supports students facing mental health challenges and, in line with colleges and universities nationally, has seen an increasing number of students presenting with mental health difficulties. Staff are proactive in supporting them, providing a range of help including cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling. The college also runs wellbeing and resilience workshops for all students and has student ambassadors trained to deliver techniques to help their fellow students manage better.



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