New report finds link between social media and poor mental health among young people

pharmafile | November 23, 2018 | News story | Medical Communications  

Young people between the ages of 11 and 19, living with a mental disorder, were more likely to use social media every day in comparison to those of a similar age who did not have mental health conditions.

The data, published by NHS Digital suggests a correlation between poor mental health and use of social media. While 87.3 of 11-19 year olds with a mental health condition used social media every day, 77.8% of those surveyed who did not have a mental health condition used social media every day.  

Meanwhile those with mental health conditions tended to use social media for longer periods of time with 39% of those living with a mental health problem using social media for four or more hours on an average school day in comparison to 12% of daily users without a mental health condition.

The survey of 9,117 children and young people found that 13% of those aged between 11 and 19 were living with a mental health condition. The report also found that 1 in 5 had been bullied online via social media over the past year, while a quarter of children who used social media felt that they compared themselves to others online.

Commenting on the report, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, noted that social media “can perpetuate unrealistic expectations for people to live up to, and it can make the pressures of life relentless and inescapable, which can certainly have a negative and serious impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.”

She added: “We desperately need more, and more varied, mental health services, close to home where they can be of most benefit for our patients – and GPs need to have better and quicker access to these services for our patients.”

Louis Goss

Related Content

No items found

Latest content