News

Investment in social media support

Published: 19 Apr 2019 00:01

New steps to support young people’s mental health.

Steps to improve the mental health of young people, and directly target the impact of social media and body image on mental wellbeing, are to be supported through a new package of measures.

This includes £90,000 of funding to produce advice on the healthy use of social media and screen time, which will be created in partnership with young people.

In addition, a review of evidence on the effects of screen use on sleep and the implications of this for mental health will be commissioned.

The announcement follows the publication of new research from the Scottish Government which identifies social media, sleep disruption, body image and school pressures as potential factors in the reported worsening of mental wellbeing among adolescent girls in Scotland.

Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey returned to her former school, Trinity High School in Rutherglen, to meet with pupils and discuss the research.

Ms Haughey said:

“We know that many young people in Scotland, particularly girls, are unsatisfied with their physical appearance, and that high levels of social media use may be detrimental to mental wellbeing. We also know that adolescent girls in Scotland report higher levels of social media use than boys.

“Social media does have the potential to be used in a hugely positive way, but we want to ensure young people are properly informed on how social media promotes unrealistic expectations.

“During Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week we announced that we will be producing advice, specific to Scotland, on the healthy use of social media and screen time. We are now committing £90,000 to carry out this work as part of a package of measures to give young people the support they need. We want all young people to be able to grow up in a modern Scotland with good mental wellbeing.”

Background

Exploring the reported worsening of mental wellbeing among adolescent girls in Scotland report (download link below and under Friday 19 April 00:01 embargo)

The Scottish Government’s commitment to produce advice on social media and screen time for young people was announced in February 2019.

The Scottish Governemnt Mental Health Strategy 2017  -2027