Support in Mind Scotland is deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Carolyn Little MBE, the charity's inspirational former chair and hugely respected mental health campaigner.

Carolyn passed away peacefully in her home town of Dumfries on 11 December surrounded by friends and family. Carolyn is survived by her beloved husband Crawford, sons Jamie, David and Justin and grandsons Jack and George. Our thoughts and sympathy are with all of Carolyn's friends and family.

Carolyn was a volunteer director of Support in Mind Scotland for 17 years and chair for 14 years before formally stepping down in June 2017 - the same month she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her significant contribution to mental health services.

Paying tribute to Carolyn, Support in Mind Scotland CEO Frances Simpson said: "Carolyn will be sorely missed by friends and colleagues across the country because of her kindness, her compassion and her fearless determination to fight for people’s rights and hold decision-makers to account for the decisions they made.

"For me as CEO, Carolyn was a strong and principled guide and mentor throughout the six years she was my Chair. Honest and uncompromising when it came to what she believed in, always making sure we did the best for those we supported, she was my compass, and someone I respected unconditionally.

"I will miss her as will many others; and I am extremely grateful to have known and worked with her."

Carolyn was also Manager of User and Carer Involvement (UCI) Dumfries and Galloway and Carer representative on the Scottish Patient Safety Programme for Mental Health. She was an influential figure in campaigning for improved involvement and rights for carers and was a leading figure in the field of forensic mental health carers.

Among her many achievements, she sat on the working group that reviewed the Mental Health Act in 2009 (the McManus Review); chaired and presented at numerous national events including the International Mental Health Conference in Edinburgh; and was also selected to be one of the peer reviewers of the Scottish Government’s Review of Mental Health Services in 2013.

Carolyn spoke at a major conference in 2011 on the needs of forensic carers and in 2012 co-chaired a consultation with the Forensic Network that brought the needs of carers to the attention of the decision-makers in forensic services.

This led to funding from the Government for a major research report in 2013 and Carolyn chaired the working group. This research report has now led to work with staff across the network to address the issue of carer awareness.

Support in Mind Scotland secured funding to start the first national support service for forensic carers in the UK – Caring Connections - and also started a national forensic carers forum in 2014 and developed a 12-point action plan for change.

In her role as chair, Carolyn also oversaw the name change of the charity in 2010 from National Schizophrenia Fellowship (Scotland) to Support in Mind Scotland, and the opening of our new National Office in 2009, attended by guest of honour, the Princess Royal.

  • A funeral service for Carolyn Little will take place on Thursday, 18 December at Roucan Loch Crematorium at 2pm to which all family & friends are respectfully invited to attend.