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SOCIAL MEDIAS: Social networks harmful to adolescent mental health


A new study published by the Education Policy Institute and Prince’s Trust reports on the harmful effects of social networks on the well-being and mental health of adolescents. The misuse of social networks can lead to depression, create complexes and in some cases lead to suicide. Containment due to the coronavirus pandemic has greatly exacerbated the scourge.

The Education Policy Institute, an educational policy think tank, and the Prince’s Trust, an association founded in 1976 by Prince Charles to help young people, have published a new study on the dangerous nature of social networks on welfare.be and mental health of adolescents.
The pandemic has a significant impact on sport practice, which has become problematic and yet plays an important role in morale and well-being. “Participation in activities and sports has declined significantly due to school closures and lockdowns, negatively impacting mental health and well-being,” the paper says.

The Education Policy Institute and the Prince’s Trust recommend that the UK government allocate £650 million to schools. This assistance would enable them to provide training, acquire equipment and create infrastructure to preserve students’ mental health. “Youth are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, so it is more important than ever that they have access to mental health support during this critical time in their lives.”said Prince’s Trust Executive Director Jonathan Townsend.

An observation already made by the American social psychologist, Jonathan Haidt, which goes further. He said that in August 2020, since confinement, there has been an increase in suicides among Japanese girls.One of the women listening to the Tokyo Association for Suicide Prevention has a strong opinion on this increase in suicide among adolescent girls: “Adolescent girls are even more dependent on social networks, which are an outlet, a space of confidences, but where the responses of others can be disappointing, violent, defamatory.”

However, potential solutions are identified by experts. Ilaria Montagni, a PhD student in psychological and psychiatric sciences, recommends limiting the misuse of social networks, which can quickly become an addiction. For adolescents who have developed obsessive disorders, several techniques can be implemented: individual/collective/cognitive therapy, sophrology, etc.

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Marie-Anne Sergerie, author of the book Cyberdependence: Quand l’utilisation des technologies devient problématique, believes that youth accountability is necessary. “The idea is not to demonize technology, but to look at what our children are doing to help them develop responsible behaviours even if it’s just how to interact with others online, pay attention to what we publish…” , she says


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