Youth mental health getting worse and social media could be to blame

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Headspace releases new research and announces actress and advocate Georgie Stone as headspace day ambassador

New data released today from headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation reveals that nearly two thirds of young Australians (62%) say that the mental health of young people is getting worse1, with 37 percent of respondents saying that social media is one of the leading contributors. Expectations from school, family or community (18%) and work or study pressures (16%) were also called out.

The research was announced to coincide with headspace day – a national event run by the Foundation during National Mental Health Week that aims to support the mental health and wellbeing of all young Australians.

headspace CEO, Jason Trethowan said there are many factors that contribute the state of a young person’s mental health, but as things evolve, headspace needs to ensure young people are armed with knowledge and resources to build resilience to support their own wellbeing.

“We know mental health is complex and there are many factors that contribute to a young person’s wellbeing, but it’s clear from the research that social media is something young people have strong opinions about and it’s something that appears to be creating more pressure day to day.

“A young person’s real-world persona and online persona are so intertwined these days so for example, if they’re being vulnerable online or sharing something personal and not getting the reaction they were hoping for, it can be really upsetting. There’s also exposure to things like cyberbullying and this ability to draw comparisons between your own life and that of your peers, perhaps making young people feel like what they’re doing isn’t stacking up.

“We need to be clear about the fact that these platforms are designed in a specific way to keep young people online, and that reducing use is not always as simple as it sounds. We need to raise awareness about the impacts of social media overuse, and support young people to develop the skills they need to handle these new and evolving challenges.

“There are only so many hours in the day and if time spent online is taking away from things that offer balance and a healthy mind frame, that’s where we run into problems.

“The seven tips for a healthy headspace offer practical ways to support wellbeing and provide young people opportunities to support themselves through challenging times. The tips include different ways to get into life and do the things you love, how we can eat well, get enough sleep, stay active and spend time with family, friends and people in the community.” Trethowan said.

Actress and young Victorian of the year, Georgie Stone is proud to be working with headspace, and wants to remind other young people that there are things they can do to help if they’re going through a tough time.

“One in four young people will experience a mental health issue. I want to tell other young people that they’re not alone, even if what you’re going through feels really isolating, there are people you can connect with and talk to, and self-care strategies you can try to help yourself through hard times. ” Georgie said.

For more information on ways to maintain a healthy headspace visit: https://headspace.org.au/tips
 

1 headspace National, National Youth Mental Health Survey (2018)

 
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Youth mental health getting worse and social media could be to blame 09 October 2019 | New data released today from headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation reveals that nearly two thirds of young Australians (62%) say that the mental health of young people is getting worse1, with 37... More information...


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