Taylor retains his brother’s reminiscence alive via Scooty Fund


What Will Taylor lacked in peak, he shortly compensated when he hit the basketball courtroom. Throughout his freshman and sophomore years at Mercer Island Excessive Faculty (MIHS), the little hoopster earned the nickname Scotty for quickly shifting his physique up and down hardwoods.

He gained a couple of inches on his body coming junior yr, however the nickname caught.

Taylor was tight-lipped along with her older sister, Casey, who remembers Will as a magnetic, humorous and energetic persona. He was a loyal man who cared about his associates. A mixture of being daring and cussed, and he or she was Scotty briefly.

Will died by suicide on March 4, 2017, on the age of 21, a couple of months earlier than graduating from Santa Clara College in Northern California.

A yr after Will’s dying, Casey and two MIHS alumni launched The Scooty Fund to honor his life and legacy. The fund’s mission is to “promote, help and advance the psychological well being and wellness that enhances the lives and well-being of younger folks,” in keeping with its website, which has the tagline, “There’s a will and a manner.”

Casey, who graduated from MIHS in 2011 — two years earlier than Will obtained his MIHS diploma — defined that he and different fund founders are additionally battling psychological well being.

“After the deep disappointment and shock of his dying, we determined to start out a nonprofit as a result of we had been discovering that the way in which we had been taught psychological well being in class was not efficient, and we We had been seeing a stigma when so a lot of our associates and our companions had been going via related psychological well being struggles,” Casey mentioned.

The Scooty Fund is a spot the place they’ll educate and help their friends, foster connections, and let folks know that it is okay to debate psychological well being.

Casey and her associates discovered via their experiences that folks had been immune to discussing their psychological well being points as a result of they had been afraid to indicate weak spot or vulnerability and felt that “their life is happening as absolutely as different folks.” has been or no less than is healthier than we really feel,” he mentioned.

The present Solar Valley, Idaho, resident is the logistics coordinator for an artwork gallery whereas working towards changing into a therapist to earn a grasp’s diploma in scientific psychology. A 2015 Pomona School (California) graduate mentioned that his present research principally stem from his full expertise with Scotty Fund.

Via his fundraising efforts, he has donated cash this yr to a College of Washington analysis challenge into what components affect suicide in folks aged 12-26. In previous years, he has donated funds to the Hirsch Youth Suicide Prevention Middle in Los Angeles, the Forefront in Mercer Island, and Seattle and The Z Basis to additional develop his psychological well being curriculum at colleges within the Seattle space.

Island Connection continues via some Scooty Fund work with town’s Division of Youth and Household Companies (YFS) and a fundraising occasion with the MIHS boys’ basketball group earlier than the pandemic hit. They’re in dialogue with MIHS to current a panel presentation for all college students within the fall or winter of 2021.

The fund – which is growing an app and podcast – consists of a seven-member board and about 20 volunteers, a lot of whom are MIHS graduates.

Scooty Crews can also be robust on the social media entrance, which incorporates giving the reins to a special younger grownup to share their psychological well being experiences on the fund’s Instagram web page each Wednesday.

“We have now month-to-month themes that normally correspond to grief, anxiousness, relationship points so that folks can have a look at psychological well being via a special lens every month,” Casey mentioned.

Added Tara Nielsen, Co-Founder/Vice President of the Fund: “The Scooty Fund is normalizing the psychological well being dialog in a novel and necessary manner. Through the use of our platform to start out these conversations, we have seen our neighborhood grow to be extra open about their psychological well being journey.”

Nielsen was so deeply impressed by her involvement with the fund that she began regulation college on the College of Seattle and has the profession purpose of constructing psychological well being schooling obligatory in all Okay-12 colleges. When she helped launch the fund, she was a highschool math instructor and is now coming into her third yr of regulation college.

Casey mentioned an necessary facet of enriching folks’s lives is guaranteeing that their days are crammed with ample quantities of meals, sleep and train. Two necessary issues he has realized over time are to just accept and reject black and white pondering.

“As I obtained older, studying to take time to relaxation and settle for life understanding that I can not management quite a lot of issues. Not pondering within the excessive[that]does not make me one of the best both.” should be or I am horrible, or match this ideally suited or I am a failure,” she mentioned.

Scotty Fund panel displays—together with YFS counselors—are additionally necessary, and embrace three to 4 younger adults and two or three psychological well being consultants on subjects starting from suicide to anxiousness to melancholy to consuming problems. She has additionally introduced small group seminars for younger ladies in Mercer Island and Calabasas, Calif.

“I’ve led each of these teams and it is an open discussion board to reply any questions on psychological well being. I share a bit bit about my story and what I’ve realized alongside the way in which. And it is type of a secure place,” Casey mentioned. “It is actually been a giant a part of my very own therapeutic, with the ability to really feel like I am serving to different folks.”

For extra data go to https://www.scootyfund.org.

The Scooty Fund group gathers at a funding ceremony. Picture courtesy of Casey Taylor



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