According to research, over one million adults across Scotland have been prevented from going about their daily lives due to anxiety levels.
The new study, led by the Mental Health Foundation, has found that a huge number of Scots face levels of anxiety that interfere with their lives, with 70% of adults across the county reported to have suffered from anxiety at some point.
The research, which surveyed 1,000 adults across Scotland, also suggested that as many as 58% of adults across Scotland have experienced levels of anxiety impacting their daily lives in the past two weeks.
The study findings mark the start of Mental Health Awareness Week from 15-21 May, with the charity sounding the alarm about the impact of anxiety on adults across Scotland.
As many as 27% of adults said they experienced anxiety to the extent that it prevented them from doing what they wanted or needed to do most or all of the time in the previous two weeks.
Anxiety is very common, but more than four in 10 (44%) keep their anxious thoughts and feelings a secret, suggesting that a huge number of people feel uncomfortable sharing their experiences and discussing their mental health personal.
It was also found that around one in five adults (21%) felt anxious most or all of the time, with 30% saying they did not cope well with feelings of anxiety.
In terms of financial worries, 33% said they felt anxious about paying their bills, while 42% explained that greater financial security would help prevent anxiety.
Julie Cameron, associate director of the Mental Health Foundation in Scotland, said: ‘Across Scotland more than one million adults are experiencing levels of anxiety that are preventing them from living their lives, with many staying silent and struggling to cope.
“More can and should be done to protect our mental health. A big goal of our Mental Health Awareness Week is to encourage people to share their experiences of anxiety and to increase understanding of the steps we can take. However, the scale of the problems requires change that goes beyond individual action.
“We urge the Scottish Government to publish a cross-departmental strategy on mental health for the next 10 years with an implementation plan containing commitments on mental health from all departments, including those covering social security, housing, communities , education and criminal justice.
“We welcome the pledge to fund the Community Fund for Mental Health and Wellbeing this year, but it is underfunded and unable to support all deserving community organizations; funding needs to be increased so people can get preventive mental health support before they get sick.”
Mental Wellbeing Minister Maree Todd said: “I welcome the Mental Health Foundation’s report, as it is an important contribution to a national debate on mental health and wellbeing.
“Supporting and promoting the mental well-being of the Scottish people is a priority of the Scottish Government. I know many people are experiencing stress and anxiety right now which is why taking care of our mental health has never been more important.
“We are supporting and promoting the mental wellbeing of the Scottish population in a number of ways, including investing £30m in community support for children, young people and adults.
“A range of support is currently available online for those needing mental health help, including Mind to Mind, a website providing practical resources to support the mental well-being of the Scottish population.
“Our upcoming mental health and wellbeing strategy will focus on every part of what mental health and wellbeing means.
“This ranges from addressing the underlying reasons for poor mental health; helping to create the conditions for people to thrive, challenging stigma around mental health and providing specialist help and support for mental illness.
“The Mental Health Foundation is a key stakeholder and has worked with us to develop the strategy.”
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