According to a report by the Royal Society for Public Health, social media app Instagram is more harmful to young people’s mental health than other social media platforms. The report, which stems from a survey of nearly 1,500 teens and young adults, linked Instagram to bullying, anxiety, depression, and fear of missing out.
The report did not, however, find that social media use is universally bad for mental health. Social media sites were linked to self-expression, a sense of community, a sense of identity, and greater social support. Some sites offered other benefits. YouTube, for example, promoted awareness of others’ experiences, decreased depression and loneliness, and offered access to reliable health information.
The report suggests social media platforms can protect users’ mental health by:
- Adding pop-up warnings pointing to the risks of heavy use.
- Providing methods to identify and support users who experience mental health issues.
- Offering notifications to alert when a photo has been digitally altered.
The number of students leaving universities in the United Kingdom due to mental health issues has increased threefold in recent years. More students are requesting counseling, as schools struggle to keep up with their mental health needs.
With about 1 in 5 Americans experiencing a mental health condition, mental health concerns are more prevalent than physical health issues. The Walgreens Boots Alliance, now in its second year, expanded mental health access and screenings in an attempt to provide more treatment and more resources. The retailer, which partnered with Mental Health America for the service, says 75% of people who completed mental health screenings are taking steps toward follow-up care.
Loved ones can be both a cause of depression and a support system for fighting depression. Some relationships provide relief and social support. Others are a source of depression-triggering stress. Some are both. Experts say the key is to recognize and cultivate healthy relationships with others.
Ecoanxiety, the fear of an impending environmental crisis, is increasingly common. A new report from the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests this anxiety may directly affect relationships and functioning. For instance, every standard deviation of rainfall and temperature increase is expected to produce a 4% increase in interpersonal conflict.
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