Young Skinflats dad launches YouTube channel to offer mental health support

A young father has urged people struggling with mental health issues to speak out.

By Jonathon Reilly
Friday, 22nd January 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 24th January 2021, 10:34 am

Now receiving professional help for his own struggles with anxiety and depression, Chalmers Hill wants others experiencing mental health issues to “know they’re not alone”.

The 26-year-old posted footage of himself online as he suffered a panic attack in a desperate attempt to get support after breaking down following the birth of his daughter, Islay, last summer.

Originally from Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway, the Skinflats resident moved to the Falkirk area to live with his partner – singer and presenter Dionne Hickey – last February.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Chalmers Hill is pictured with fiancee Dionne Hickey and daughter Islay. Contributed.

Mr Hill quickly found himself struggling to cope with being away from family and friends and starting a new job.

He eventually reached a point where he knew he had to seek help in October.

The Logical Insulation Solutions employee has since opened up to loved ones about his difficulties and is in the process of receiving counselling from mental health charity Back Onside.

Detailing the messages of support he’s received since sharing the clip, Mr Hill said: “The response has been very positive.

“Everybody has been very supportive. I’ve had a few charities reach out to me to say they want to help.

“Since I spoke out it’s been easier to deal with, knowing people are there and offering help. Just knowing people are there and aren’t judging you or putting you into a bracket definitely helps.

“I just want people to know they’re not alone.

“Although there’s not much stigma around mental health now, people still think it’s not a big deal and that’s what we need to break the cycle of. It’s a normal thing.”

He continued: “I’ve had bouts of depression and anxiety off and on.

“In July last year, everything came to a head. That was when the suicidal thoughts kicked in and that became a hole I couldn’t get out of.

“Becoming a father was a big shift for me. I know there are so many people out there feeling the same way, doubting themselves and, before you know it, things become too much and they take their own life, which isn’t solving anything.”

Talking and opening up about his mental health has proven so beneficial, Mr Hill has started his own YouTube channel in a bid to help others, as well as himself.

Titled Get Chattin, the first video is set to be uploaded this weekend.

He added: “One thing I’ve found helped me is just talking and rambling nonsense so I’m starting a YouTube channel. If anybody’s feeling the same way, hopefully they can relate to that.

“I’d like to thank my family, Dionne’s family and all the NHS staff I’ve spoken to.”

An NHS Forth Valley spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry to hear about this father’s mental health difficulties and would encourage anyone who is struggling with their mental health to speak to someone and find out more about the support available.”

These services provide free confidential advice:

Call NHS 24 on 111 day or night

NHS 24’s mental health hub operates a Distress Brief Intervention service – visit www.dbi.scot

Call Samaritans for free, 365 days a year, on 116 123

Contact Back Onside via 07528 243 100

Call Scottish Association for Mental Health on 0344 800 0550

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.