As this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (15-21 May) gets underway, Martin Whitfield MSP is sharing the findings of new research on anxiety and promoting the support available to help people cope with it.

The Mental Health Foundation’s research has found that 58 per cent of adults in Scotland experienced anxiety that interfered with their daily lives in the past two weeks. Young people, single parents, LGBTQ+ people, carers, and people with long term health conditions were more likely to report feeling anxious.

The cost-of-living crisis is a key concern, with the most commonly reported cause of anxiety in the research being struggling to afford to pay bills (33 per cent of adults in Scotland said they had been anxious about this in the past two weeks).

While anxiety is a common experience for many people, shame and stigma can make it hard to talk about and ask for help. Nearly half (44 per cent) of adults in Scotland with feelings of anxiety said they kept it a secret.

In response, Mental Health Foundation is calling on policy-makers in Scotland and across the UK to take action to reduce anxiety’s toll on people’s lives, especially for those facing financial uncertainty.

Martin Whitfield MSP said: 

“This is a really valuable piece of research which highlights the links between the impact of the rising cost-of-living and people’s mental wellbeing. It clearly demonstrates that those struggling with bills and other essentials are more likely to suffer anxiety and other mental health issues as a result. 

“Mental Health Awareness Week is an important opportunity to shine a light on these issues, help remove the stigma that still exists and promote inclusive policy change to help those in need and alleviate mental health problems.

“I congratulate Mental Health Foundation on this important research and its wider work campaigning for and promoting positive mental health.”

Find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week at