Is the Internet Undermining Young People's Mental Health?

18 Mar 2016 UK SIC

Parent Zone have published a new report – The Perfect Generation: Is the Internet Undermining Young People’s Mental Health? – on the effects of the internet on young people’s mental health. 

The report, which surveyed teachers and young people aged between 13-20, has found that children in the UK are facing a lack of resources in schools, leaving teachers frustrated and pupils vulnerable.

As Parent Zone state, “results show a generation of young people (torn between positive feelings towards the internet (74.5% report that it makes them happy), yet an acknowledgment that there are areas they would tell friends to avoid. 36% of young people who were surveyed admit they would suggest friends avoid Facebook if they were feeling worried or upset.”

Findings also include:

  • Over half of 13-20-year-olds surveyed (51%) have seen someone talk about suicide online.
  • 61% of young people have seen someone talk about hurting themselves online.
  • 34% of young people said if they were upset or had a problem, they would talk to a parent or carer first. 27% would talk to someone else they trusted in person. 28% of respondents said their first step would be some kind of online help, ranging from a Google search to an information service for young people. Fewer than 1% would call a helpline first.
  • 44% of teachers think the internet is bad for young people’s mental health, compared to 28% of young people.
  • 91% of teachers believe the frequency of mental health issues among pupils is increasing.
  • Of these issues, schools report stress and anxiety (95%), depression (70%) and self-harm (66%) as the most common issues amongst pupils.
  • 84% of schools say they do not have adequate resources to deal with pupils’ mental health issues.

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