Royal Society for Public Health | May 2018| #StatusOfMind Social media and Young people’s mental health and wellbeing
This report from Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) explores the positive and negative impact of social media on young people aged between 16-24, and their mental health and wellbeing. It also includes a league table of five social media platforms which have been ranked in order of their net impact on young people’s health and wellbeing by young people.
The RSPH calls for
The introduction of a pop-up heavy usage warning on social media
Social media platforms to highlight when photos of people have been digitally manipulated
NHS England to apply the Information Standard Principles to health information published via social media
Safe social media use to be taught during PSHE education in school
Social media platforms to identify users who could be suffering from mental health problems by their posts and other data, and discreetly signpost to support
Youth-workers and other professionals who engage with young people to have a digital (including social) media component in their training
More research to be carried out into the effects of social media on young people’s mental health
Social media use may have different effects on wellbeing in adolescent boys and girls, according to research | BMC Public Health | Story via ScienceDaily
Researchers at the University of Essex and UCL found an association between increased time spent on social media in early adolescence (age 10) and reduced wellbeing in later adolescence (age 10-15) — but only among girls.
The study used data from the youth panel of the UK Household Panel Study — a large national survey which interviews all members of a household annually, from 2009 — 2015. A total of 9,859 UK adolescents aged 10 to 15 years completed questions on how many hours they spent interacting on social media sites on a typical school day.
The authors found that adolescent girls used social media more than boys and social media interaction increased with age for both boys and girls. At age 13, about a half of girls were interacting on social media for more than 1 hour per day, compared to just one third of boys. By age 15, both genders increased their social media use but girls continued to use social media more than boys, with 59% of girls and 46% of boys interacting on social media for one or more hours per day.
Wellbeing appeared to decline throughout adolescence in both boys and girls, as reflected in scores for happiness and other aspects of wellbeing, although findings indicated that girls experienced more negative aspects of wellbeing.
This report presents young people’s views on how they cope with difficulties and seek help, with a focus on the role of gender | National Children’s Bureau
Our surveys and face-to-face engagement with more than 100 young people generated some key findings:
Some healthy ways of managing stress are widely acceptable to both male and female young people we surveyed: for example, having fun and exercising.
Young people are very aware of expectations on boys and men to appear strong and not show emotion.
Sharing problems with others seems more widely acceptable among the young women than young men, although not as clearly as common stereotypes might suggest.
Some girls and young women described feeling that their difficulties are belittled by adults when they try to seek support. They perceived assumptions that girls’ distress is due to overemotional reactions to minor issues with friendships and relationships. Some girls and young women expressed uncertainty about trusting female friends, although other females were an important source of support.
The few trans young people we heard from did feel that gender stereotypes affected how they cope and sought help, to different degrees and in different ways. Two commented on the need for greater professional understanding of gender identity.
The areas in which the young people most wanted to see greater gender-sensitivity were information about support available; support within settings like schools, youth clubs and youth offending institutions; and how professionals relate to young people
An increasing body of research is showing associations between green space and overall health. Children are spending more time indoors while pediatric mental and behavioral health problems are increasing | Journal of Pediatric Nursing
A systematic review of the literature was done to examine the association between access to green space and the mental well-being of children.
Twelve articles relating to green space and the mental well-being of children were reviewed. Three articles outside the date criteria were included as they are cited often in the literature as important early research on this topic.
Access to green space was associated with improved mental well-being, overall health and cognitive development of children. It promotes attention restoration, memory, competence, supportive social groups, self-discipline, moderates stress, improves behaviors and symptoms of ADHD and was even associated with higher standardized test scores.
How could young African Caribbean men’s resilience be improved? | Centre for Mental Health
Three Birmingham-based projects (the Up My Street programme) were commissioned by Mind to improve young black men’s resilience. Our evaluation sought to ascertain whether the programme was successful, and what elements were especially effective.
The evaluation was funded by Comic Relief and completed in partnership with peer researchers, to obtain an in-depth look at the challenges facing young African Caribbean men, and how their resilience can be enhanced in the face of these struggles.
The Up My Street projects reached out to young men with a range of relatable male role models and created culturally informed safe spaces. Young men had experiences of co-producing activities to strengthen their self-esteem, self-belief, personal development and skills.
An NCB survey in 2016 showed the rising number of pupils suffering from mental health issues – now NCB is developing a Wellbeing Award for Schools.
From September 2017, a new Wellbeing Award for Schools, presented by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) and Optimus Education Ltd (part of Prospects Services Group), will recognise outstanding work being done to promote mental health and wellbeing within school communities across England.
This new award will recognise schools that embed a culture which values the happiness and emotional welfare of all its pupils. Both the Department for Education and Ofsted have supported this approach, stressing that promoting good mental health is the responsibility of all members of a school community: its staff and governors, parents and pupils, and partner organisations beyond the school gates.
The Wellbeing Award supports schools to create a culture in which mental health can thrive, helping them to:
Show the school’s commitment to promoting wellbeing as part of day-to-day school life
Develop a whole school strategy for improving the wellbeing of pupils