Scots urged to talk about mental health as survey finds many mask worries

It comes on Time To Talk Day on Thursday, on which people are encouraged to talk and listen to one another and potentially change lives.

A charity is urging people in Scotland to talk about their mental health after research suggested a majority hide their feelings to stop others worrying about them.

See Me said it is important to encourage people to open up about their feelings, as it marked a national day of action seeking to end the stigma around sharing stories about mental health.

The campaign comes after a survey of 5,012 people across the UK, including 1,001 in Scotland, found two-thirds (66%) put on a brave face for family and friends to mask their worries.

Asked why they do this, more than half said they feel there are bigger things going on in the world and over a third said they do not believe people really want to know about their troubles.

The research also revealed nearly half of people surveyed in Scotland (45%) said pressures such as the cost-of-living crisis and the pandemic make them less likely to open up about their mental health because they do not want to add to other people’s worries.

The findings were released to mark Time To Talk Day on Thursday, on which people are encouraged to talk and listen to one another and potentially change lives.

Tommy Kelly, a volunteer for See Me from Ayrshire, reflected on a time he refused to believe he had an eating disorder until he opened up to others about how he felt.

“Accepting that I had an eating disorder was important because I became sick and tired of being sick and tired,” he said.

“I had lost so much of my life already and I understood that I could end up losing my life if I didn’t get the help I needed, and accepted that help.

“I had all the help in the world, but I think you have got to want to accept that help. And for me, that was opening up, asking for help and accepting that I had a problem.”

Time To Talk Day campaign is run in Scotland by See Me in partnership with Co-op. A number of activities and events are being held both in person and online to mark the occasion, with various workplaces, schools, community groups and sports clubs across the country signed up to take part.

See Me director Wendy Halliday said: “Since the pandemic, and through the cost-of-living crisis, we have consistently seen that people struggling with their mental health don’t want to burden others by speaking about how they feel.

“We need to challenge this stigma, so people struggling with their mental health know they are not a burden.

“That is why Time To Talk Day continues to be such an important day, because while conversations around mental health in general might be easier, telling someone how you are feeling can still be daunting.”

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community and member participation at Co-op, said: “The research shows only a third of 16 to 24-year-olds are comfortable talking about their mental wellbeing.

“Our Co-op member owners want to help make sure that young people feel ready to speak up and speak out.

“That’s why we’ve been working in partnership with Mind, SAMH, Inspire and others to bring communities together to kickstart conversations this Time To Talk Day to bring hope for the future.”

To find out more about Time To Talk Day, visit the See Me website at

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in