Dundee Kilted Yoga star Finlay Wilson has opened up about his failed suicide attempt as a campaign is launched encouraging people to talk more about their mental health.
Wilson, whose Scottish-themed demonstrations propelled him into the limelight, revealed both he and his twin brother, Alastair, had attempted to take their own lives in the past on separate occasions.
The pair were oblivious to one another’s struggles until an open and frank conversation about their own difficulties “brought them together”.
Finlay, 30, was speaking as Time to Talk was launched by the charity See Me, which campaigns to end mental health discrimination.
The charity carried out research which showed Scots are more comfortable speaking to their friends and family about their mental health than those in the rest of the UK.
It also revealed despite Scots being more comfortable with the matter than the rest of the UK, fewer than half (42%) would actually be willing to do this, compared to 36% across the UK.
Finlay, who is the co-founder and principal teacher of Heart SpaceYoga & Bodyworks in the West End, said he and his brother both “struggled” with mental health while growing up.
He said: “We’ve both expressed issues with our mental health in different ways, and we made a video about it.
“He expresses in a very closed down way in that he stopped working, he stopped working out, he started getting in a really dark place.
“Mine manifested in that I was drinking a lot, I was taking tablets, I was blocking, but still functioning, so we went down two different routes. We were both struggling, but neither of us could speak to each other about it.
“It wasn’t until we reached a crisis point where he made an attempt on his life, that I said ‘I tried that two years ago’. That moment was very awakening for us, and one of the things we did with a video for BBC is we spoke to each other openly about it, details we hadn’t shared before.
“It was a really candid conversation with my twin brother looking at how we’ve used different coping strategies to help with our mental health and move us out of danger.”
UK-wide Time to Talk is being led in Scotland by See Me and aims to get people all over the UK starting meaningful conversations on mental health.
To promote the day, two See Me volunteers, Karen Lally and Suzanne Baines, went on a 700 mile tour of the country speaking to mental health advocates such as Finlay, whom they met at the Apex Hotel.
Wilson added: “One of the really scary things is you think speaking about it will damage connection and that instead of bringing people in, it will marginalise you and push you to the outside of this unknown.
“But in fact it’s the opposite, it brought us together and we created a mental health video that has been seen over 1 million times.”