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One in three Scots won’t talk about problems

This news post is almost 9 years old

Samaritans says more people need to talk about their problems before they lead to serious mental health issues

Nearly a third of people in the UK say they don’t like to burden others with their problems, according to research for the Samaritans.

Figures published to coincide with the launch of the charity’s awareness raising #TalkToUs campaign, also reveal that more than one in five sometimes feel overwhelmed by their troubles, but 11% feel they don’t have anyone to share them with.

Other barriers to opening up about what’s bothering people include feeling embarrassed (one in seven), feeling weak (one in 10), feeling judged (one in 12), and being seen as weird (one in 15).

For those of who do feel able to share, the person people most likely go to is a partner (more than one in three) and then a friend (one in five).

Just under one in seven of us bottle it up, and nearly one in 10 of us will avoid people and spend time alone.

There’s nothing weak or weird about talking about what’s getting to you - Keith Walker

Over and above big life events such as a bereavement, redundancy or divorce, the survey also asked people to list the day-to-day things that have been bothering them the most in the last 12 months.

The top five in order are: relationships (48.6%), work (in particular, workload) (46.6%), home life (36.1%), physical health (36.1%), and family arguments (32.3%).

Keith Walker, trustee for Samaritans Scotland, says talking can help people to see a way through their problems.

“There’s nothing weak or weird about talking about what’s getting to you,” he said.

“Recognising your need to talk is a strength. Everyone’s different and what one person might cope with can easily overwhelm another.

“Our volunteers can support you, whatever you’re going through – work stress, money troubles, family difficulties, sexuality issues, or a big life event. Samaritans volunteers are here round the clock every day of the year to listen in confidence about whatever you need to share.”

Deputy chief executive of the Samaritans Fiona Malcolm hopes its #TalkToUscampaign will reach people who may not realise its services are there for everyone.

“If you are struggling to cope, the benefits of sharing your concerns can be absolutely huge.

"People who have contacted Samaritans tell us that feeling listened to, understood and cared for has helped them feel better and less alone.

"Even if their problem couldn’t be resolved by the end of their exchange with us, simply the process of sharing was sometimes enough to start the process of healing, leading to taking positive action or seeking other forms of help.”

Throughout the month of July, Samaritans volunteers up and down the country will be staging events to raise awareness of the services they provide in their local communities.