SCOTLAND’S Mental Health Awareness Week is aiming to shed light on crippling struggles with anxiety.

The Mental Health Foundation polled 1000 adults and found that 58% of adults in Scotland had suffered with anxiety which interfered with their lives in the prior two weeks.

Almost half of these people (44%) said they bottled up these feelings and kept them from others.

Throughout this week, the foundation is encouraging that 44%, and anyone else struggling with anxiety, to share their worries and promote a healthier support system.

The charity is releasing a paper, “Uncertain Times: Anxiety in Scotland and how to tackle it”, which outlines recommendations to the Government on strategies to improve mental health nationwide.

Julie Cameron, associate director at the Mental Health Foundation in Scotland, said: “Across Scotland, more than one million adults are experiencing levels of anxiety that is stopping them from living their lives, with many not speaking out and struggling to cope. More can and must be done to protect our mental health.

“A big focus of our Mental Health Awareness Week is to encourage people to share their experiences on anxiety and 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 mental health strategy for the next 10 years with a delivery plan that contains commitments on mental health from all departments, including those that cover social security, housing, communities, education and criminal justice.

“We welcome the commitment to funding the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund in this year, but it is underfunded and not able to support all the worthy applicant community organisations; funding needs to be increased so people can get preventative mental health support before they become unwell.”

The 10-year strategy is aimed at both Westminster and Holyrood.

Among the recommendations, the charity is stressing a need to ensure social security benefits cover life’s essentials, to avoid people skipping meals or turning the heating off to survive.

One third of adults in the country suffer from financial anxiety, a figure which has risen since the beginning of the cost of living crisis and amid UK Government austerity.

The Mental Health Foundation is also calling for debt-relief programmes to be introduced.

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from May 15 to May 21.

For anyone struggling, call Samaritans on 116 123, or text SHOUT to 85258.