FOUR brave Fife mums who tragically lost their sons to suicide have joined forces in a bid to save other young lives.

The parents have spoken out as part of their ongoing support for Tartan Talkers, a male suicide prevention and awareness charity.

It was set up in memory of Scott Taylor, from Cowdenbeath, who took his own life in March 2022 at the age of just 37.

The dad-of-one had been described as a “happy-go-lucky chappie” who was the “life and soul of the party”.

His mum, Phyllis Taylor, 59, from Crossgates, is one of four to come forward to talk about her experience.

She said: "If anybody had told me that Scott was going to take his own life, I would have laughed because he was the life and soul of the party.

“Never ever, ever did I think he would do it. Now I’d never assume that if someone says they’re having a really bad time, that they’re not at risk of doing it.

“Before I’d have thought they were just having an off day but now I have a totally different outlook.

“I’ve not really grieved yet and have just locked down.

“Seeing a room full of parents who have lost their children to suicide is brutal. It’s a group you never want people to join. But it’s becoming more and more common."

She explained how Tartan Talkers has grown since it was first launched following Scott's death in a bid to help men speak up about how they are feeling.

Dunfermline Press: Phyllis Taylor lost her son Scott in 2022. Phyllis Taylor lost her son Scott in 2022. (Image: Tartan Talkers)

Phyllis continued: “We’re trying to stop parents from having to go through what we’re all going through because there’s nothing worse.

"You don’t really know until it chaps your door just how bad it is.

"At the end of the day, it’s sad that this has had to happen for Tartan Talkers to bloom.

"We’re just trying to get the word out there to the men that there is help there.

“We’re just ordinary people trying to help others that are struggling.

"If we can save just one person, then it’s been worth it.

"You expect to lose a mother, father and older people so you’re prepared for that.

"But see when you lose a kid? I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life.

"Sometimes people will come up to you and say: ‘Come on, it’s been a year now’, like they expect you to move on like they have. "But we’re still stuck in this bubble.

"The help is out there and we want to reach anyone who is struggling."

Tracey Farrell, 56, from Rosyth lost her son Greg on May 16, 2022.

He was a dad-of-two and just 36-years-old.

Tracey says she was prompted to make an appointment with a doctor for Greg after he burst into tears and admitted he was struggling.

The advice they gave him was to eat healthy and exercise.

She later found out he had bought an anti-depressant online and was self medicating.Dunfermline Press: Tracey says her son Greg had bought an anti-depressant online and was self-medicating. Tracey says her son Greg had bought an anti-depressant online and was self-medicating. (Image: Tartan Talkers)

Tracey said: "Would he still be here if he hadn’t taken those tablets? I think so. Did he mean to do it? No, I don’t think he did.

“My son was a plasterer, he worked for himself and he was a grafter.

"There was nothing that meant more to him than providing for his family.

"Greg was the life and soul of a party. He asked for help and he never got it. It has left a massive hole in my heart. I just can’t wait to see him again.

“What I find the most difficult thing now is that it seems that almost everyone else moves on and forgets about him. But it will stay with me forever."

She also spoke about the difference Tartan Talkers has made to her own mental health.

She said: “I found out about Tartan Talkers through a family member and it has made such a difference. While I feel mentally and physically exhausted when I leave, I feel like I can just talk and not be judged.

“If I cry, I cry. If I laugh, I laugh and they all understand.

"If anyone else is struggling and thinking about doing the same thing, please just talk to someone. Anyone. Don’t ever bottle your feelings up."

Shona Passfield, 61, is a mum-of-two from Dunfermline and lost her 22-year-old son Johnny in May 2013.

She believes he would have gone on to marry and have his own his family, but she will never know what that would have looked like.

She said: “Johnny was a character. He could be a nightmare but he was my nightmare!

“There have been days where I’ve questioned why I’m still here but I’ve got my other son and my dad to think about.

“It’s just crazy how many people are affected by suicide.

"All these beautiful young men with their whole lives ahead of them are being lost.

“It was only a few weeks ago, I spotted a woman at my work in ASDA and she asked me if we had any nicer flowers, which I was about to put out.

“I asked what the occasion was and she told me it was for her son’s birthday.

"By the way she said it, I just knew right away and told her I’d lost my son as well.

“As she was leaving, I asked her if she’d heard about Tartan Talkers.

"She gasped and said she was going to a group meeting a few days later."

Dunfermline Press: Shona believes her son would have gone on to have a family of his own. Shona believes her son would have gone on to have a family of his own. (Image: Tartan Talkers)

She says that while it hasn't gotten any easier in the ten years since Johnny died, she has learned to cope and knows what other parents going through the experience can expect.

Shona added: "For me personally, it was the second year that was the hardest.

"You just get on with it but you have days where you just start crying and you can’t stop.

"My message to anyone struggling would be, if you’ve got a special person, talk to them, especially if it’s your mum.

"There’s nothing that can’t be fixed and you don’t have to go through it alone.

"When Johnny died, I found there wasn’t much help for me at the time.

"That’s why Tartan Talkers is so important. Sometimes it's better to speak to others who understand what you’re going through and not land it on your friends or family all the time."

Sharon Ford, 51, from Ballingry also lost her son in 2013.

His name was Ricky Easson, he had two children, and was just 19-years-old.

Sharon said: said: “Ricky died four weeks before his 20th birthday.

"He had been low but his death was a surprise to us all. I really didn’t think he’d do it.

"He had tried to take his own life in the February but we managed to get him back from that.

"Things seemed to look up and were getting better. But he was struggling to come to terms with a relationship break up."

She recalled the night before Ricky died: "It was only me and him in the house.

"He never came downstairs at night, he’d sit in his room watching TV or listening to music.

"But he came down and had his supper with me.

"The next day, I found him.

"He had written ten letters for his family.

"In his letter to me, he just kept saying that he wanted his wee family back. He just couldn’t see a light at the end of it.

"His death left total devastation. It doesn’t get any easier but you learn to live with it. There’s always questions - even now I think, ‘What if?’.

"What if I had sat and spoke to him even more, could I have done anything else?

"Hindsight is a great thing and there’s a million things you’d do differently if it would mean they were still here."

Dunfermline Press: Sharon bravely recalled the night before her 19-year-old son Ricky died. Sharon bravely recalled the night before her 19-year-old son Ricky died. (Image: Tartan Talkers)

Sharon continued: “Every day since Ricky died, I’ve felt like a void in my belly. And that’s my reminder of him. I’ll never forget him, he’s my son.

"Ricky’s spoken about every day in my house.

"Even the grandchildren who never met him or were too young to remember him, they talk about him.

"I was only off my work for five weeks because I couldn’t sit in the house, being felt sorry for.

"That’s just not me. I shed silent tears at bedtime when nobody sees me.

"Everybody grieves in different ways. And that’s why Tartan Talkers is a safe space. It doesn’t matter how you’re getting through it.

"We’re just here to make people aware that they’re not alone because it’s happening too often."

Tartan Talkers will host a fundraising concert at the Glen Pavilion in Dunfermline on November 18 from 2pm until 1am.

The event will be opened by Dunfermline Pipe Band and there will be performances from acts including Spiders On Mars, Esperanza, The New Shade, Keiran Forbes, Nero Da Zero, Pages Town of Idiots, The Columbos, Sid’s Garage and The Cognac Twins.

The concert is for over 18s only, tickets are £12 each and available here:

To find out more about the charity, visit or call founder Jackie Walls on 01383 242 960.