A MAJOR fundraising drive is underway to support Wee County young people in their battle against anxiety.

Resonate Arts House in Alloa recently started the appeal for £3,000 which would pay for a dedicated space at the charity's North Castle Street venue.

Here, young people could meet every week for six months to socialise, build resilience and offer mutual support with individual and group training on offer to help develop skills and talents, increasing their economic potential.

Local young people Becky and Zeek are behind the idea, they are part of a group in the Wee County who collaborated with Resonate to find out how anxiety has affected their lives.

The aim is to develop a genuine, workable programme to tackle the everyday problems they face.

Becky, 18, said her anxiety manifested itself through insecurities about her appearance.

She added: "There is so much pressure to be perfect, to look perfect and have everything together.

"I've struggled with how I look for years which has really knocked my confidence not just socially but in other areas of my life as well.

"It's a knock-on effect."

Becky also struggled with undiagnosed autism and ADHD, but it is understood that through recent Resonate support, she was finally diagnosed.

For Zeek, societal pressures and the outdated expectation that men hide their emotions led to anxiety – which then turned into anger and aggression.

The need to shatter the harmful "man up" stigma has been at the forefront recently, especially with revelations from NHS Forth Valley that suicide is the leading cause of death among males under 50 in the wider area.

And the Wee County is no stranger to such tragedies, just in April a memorial for Tullibody's tragic Grant Benvie was unveiled, his sister Catherine branding the issue an "epidemic".

Zeek said: "I was bullied in school and I didn't know how to deal with it.

"I responded with anger, violence because that was actually more acceptable for a young guy than saying: 'Hey, I'm not okay'."

Both Becky and Zeek approached Resonate when they felt lost and overwhelmed.

Emotional support, practical help and caring meant they grew in confidence, developed their skills and are more resilient when it comes to coping with the difficulties of life.

The 17-year-old added: "I was at a point when everything just seemed too hard, too difficult.

"The understanding and support I got from Resonate made me realise I am strong, I am capable.

"It made me realise that I have value and I can do this."

Anyone wishing to give their support to the fundraiser can visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/fightanxiety to donate.