More than 800,000 Scots adults do not know how to get mental health help
A poll has shown the lack of awareness is highest in young people and men.
Over 800,000 adults in Scotland would not know where to go for help if they were worried about their mental health.
A new poll has showed younger people and men are less aware than their peers.
Of the 18-24 year olds surveyed, 45% said they would not know where to go and 24% of men said the same.
The poll was commissioned by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and carried out by YouGov.
It also shows 26% of people would wait more than a year before getting help for mental health concerns.
Gemma Walsh, 21, did not know who to turn to when she developed depression.
She said: "My biggest obstacle to getting help was myself. I’d been coming in from school, laying down on the couch and either sleeping or crying. I was displaying all the classic symptoms of depression but I had no idea where to get help, or if I even could.
"Not all my experiences have been good, but when I went to the GP, I was so relieved to find out that there was something that could be done about the way I felt. It was so good to hear someone say that I wasn’t going to feel that way forever."
One in four people in Scotland experience mental health problems every year and it costs the Scottish economy £10.7bn.
In response, SAMH have launched Know Where to Go, a campaign to encourage members of the public to get help for their concerns. They also plan to campaign for a wider range of treatments and support.
Chief executive Billy Watson said: "Mental health problems have an enormous impact on our society, so it is alarming that so many people in Scotland simply don’t know where to get help. People can and do recover from mental health problems, but the longer a person waits to get the help they need, the greater the cost to them and to society. That’s why we are launching Know Where to Go.
"The Know Where to Go campaign aims to empower people in Scotland to seek and find help when they have concerns about their mental health. We want to educate people about their rights to fair and effective treatment and target specific groups within society that face specific barriers to getting help.
"SAMH will work with GPs, the NHS and local authorities to ensure information is available to everyone who needs it on all the support and treatment available in an area for someone with a mental health problem.
"Know Where to Go will have been a success when people know where they can get help for a mental health problem, when they first get concerned, and that the help they get offers them choice, control and sense of hope."
For more information on mental health, visit the STV Health Centre, brought to you by NHS inform.