The UK Government’s Education Committee recently called for evidence on “how screen time can support and impact children’s development, wellbeing, and educational outcomes” in order to understand “the effectiveness of digital safety education in schools and the ways in which schools and parents can be better supported to manage children’s screen usage” as well as “how screen use for academic purposes is being managed in schools.” Coincidentally, the Prime Minister announced a mobile phone ban in UK schools, apparently on the grounds that they distract students from learning and facilitate cyberbullying. This was unexpected, and the relation between the proposed ban and the formal call for evidence has not been made clear. Digital Youth and Sprouting Minds, in the middle of its examination of the complex risks and opportunities for mental health associated with young people’s engagement with the digital world, respond to this.
Growing up in a Digital World: The implications on men’s mental health from both a lived experience and research perspective.
Clearly, although social media and other online sites can be harmful to the mental health of men (as they can reinforce the harmful masculine norms in our society), they also provide opportunities for social support which would not otherwise be available to them. This is something that needs to change. It is hoped that the continued growth of these supportive online communities will eventually erode the stigmas which present a life-threatening risk to men. The question that remains is how can we maximise the positive influences of these supportive online communities while minimising those that are toxic and harmful?
Reflections on Young People’s Advisory Groups (YPAGs);payment, emotional labour, legitimacy and some take homes
I’ve decided to do a blog about my highlights from being on Young People Advisory Groups (YPAGs) over the past few years, as I step into the 26 – 30 age bracket. There is always some anxiety around turning 25+ when you have been involved in YPAGs because there is little or no clarity on what happens after 25 (in the patient and public involvement world) - are there more / fewer opportunities for meaningful involvement after 25?
Within this sector of mental health research, I have been collaborating as a part of the Digital Youth research programme and Sprouting Minds group, with researchers Jess, Petr and Ellen, who work with a co-designed fluffy robot called Purrble. This robot is currently being used as an emotion regulation intervention for young people who may be struggling with self-harm.
Sieun Lee is a Research Fellow working on Digital Youth research project 4, which is focused on developing resilience to self-harm and suicidality in the digital world, and the role of brain, psychology and the social world in this.
Lilian Greenwood MP visited researchers and young people from the Digital Youth programme at the Institute of Mental Health, to learn more about our pioneering research into young people’s mental health and wellbeing in a digital world.
Lucy-Paige’s blog raises many issues that will resonate with young people about the impact that social media can have on people with, or at risk of, eating disorders.
Following a Number 10 Policy Unit discussion on social media and mental health in March 22, Digital Youth share their recommendations for improving online mental health:
Digital Youth in Parliament highlighting the mental health risks of the digital world for young people
Digital Youth visited Parliament last week, sharing their expertise about ...