Mental Health // Category

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18 Aug

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — How are you doing? What’s going on?

Those simple questions have great value when they’re asked by a concerned neighbor during times of trauma — floods, other natural disasters, low commodity prices, illness, loss of a family member or other hardship.

Asking them also might be the first critical step to save a life.

A new Neighbor-to-Neighbor task force is educating Buffalo County residents about suicide risk factors and warning signs, and how to begin conversations of concern.

“The goal is to pay attention to our neighbors, listen, ask questions and offer help, whatever that might look like,” said Buffalo County Extension Educator Kerry Elsen, whether it’s offering an extra pair of hands for a farm job, giving emotional support or helping to access professional help.

The task force has focused on distributing an information sheet. Copies were attached to 4-H livestock event programs at the county fair, sent in mass mailings and to area media, posted on social media and distributed to people in agriculture organizations and businesses who have a lot of direct contact with farmers, ranchers and others in rural communities, Kearney Hub reported.

Neighbor-to-Neighbor partners include Buffalo County Farm Bureau, Nebraska Extension in Buffalo County, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development, Farm Credit Services of America, University of Nebraska at Kearney, Marshall Land Brokers and Auctioneers, Region 3 Behavioral Health Services and Buffalo County Community Partners.

Recently, they’ve been hosting free barbecues in Buffalo County towns that include a presentation by Michelle Kohmetscher of Blue Hill, a certified mental health first aid instructor.

At the Extension building in Kearney on a recent Thursday night, she said suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Nebraska. At the highest risk are working men ages 35-64.

The risk also is higher in agriculture than for most other occupations.

“Trauma can be anything,” Kohmetscher said. “… What can be traumatic for one person is different for another person and people deal with trauma differently.”

“We need to be a thermometer for our neighbor,” she added, because some people struggle more than others. Also, there are highs and lows even after the healing process has begun.

The struggle of one or several neighbors can have ripple effects throughout rural communities. Kohmetscher learned that seven years ago when four people died in a truck-Blue Hill school bus accident near her home.

A first step to healing was a community gathering at a church at which people talked about those losses. “That was hard, but it also was very healing,” she said.

A neighbor asking questions also can be healing, Kohmetscher said, especially in rural communities where people often are reluctant to seek help for depression or other mental illness and where access to such care may be limited.

“What do we have?” she said about such circumstances. “We have each other.”

Kohmetscher said all humans have mental health issues sometimes because there are things that make us sad. However, a problem that affects people’s ability to work, changes relationships or limits their ability to enjoy life may be the sign of a more serious mental illness, which makes talking about it and catching it early so important.

Kohmetscher said one in 100 women and seven in 100 men diagnosed with depression have attempted suicide.

“A lot of people feel uncomfortable asking the questions,” she said, because some believe the myth that asking can put the idea into someone’s head. “… It never hurts to ask questions.”

“Suicide is not the problem. It’s the only solution to a perceived insolvable problem,” Kohmetscher added.

Elsen said the idea of a project to give people in rural communities information to help them help their neighbors came from an office conversation with fellow Buffalo County Extension Educator Carol Schwarz.

“We know the stress factors are higher than they have been previously,” Elsen said, because of this year’s floods and low crop prices, “and we want to do all we can to help prevent any additional issues. It’s how to be neighborly and, in general, we need to take care of each other.”

She added that helping can be as simple as asking people if they are OK. “These are things you can do individually. You don’t have to be an expert to reach out to people,” Elsen said.

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Task Force members plan to distribute more information in the future, but it’s too soon to know the details. They also hope their project will be of interest to people in other Nebraska counties.

Elsen said they know they’ll never have a clear measure of the project’s success.

Steve Wolfe is owner of Wolfen Dairy southwest of Kearney and president of Buffalo County Farm Bureau, which paid for the hamburgers, hot dogs and side dishes served at the community barbecues by Hot Meals USA.

“Suicide is a problem that goes unnoticed, particularly in rural communities and agriculture itself,” Wolfe said about why Farm Bureau is helping with Neighbor-to-Neighbor.

He agreed that measuring its success is impossible.

“We’ll never know,” he said, “but it’s a tremendous success if we reach one person who goes out and helps one person, and if we get one person to start that conversation.”

———

Information from: Kearney Hub, http://www.kearneyhub.com/

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18 Aug

New life on a bus: South Bend couple travelling the country for mental health awareness  WSBT-TV

A South Bend couple is travelling across the country with the goal of reconnecting with friends in all places and starting a nonprofit. Project Blue is going to focus …

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18 Aug

LUBBOCK, Texas (KXAN) — A baby cries. A mother responds.

A baby coos. A father responds.

A baby smiles. A mother responds.

For many new parents brimming with love, the back-and-forth with their baby just seems like the normal thing to do and may appear to have just a fleeting impact on the child. But, in reality, these parental responses are already shaping the child’s mental health.

Dr. Ann MastergeorgeDr. Ann Mastergeorge
Dr. Ann Mastergeorge in her office at Texas Tech University
(KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

Dr. Ann Mastergeorge, department chair of human development and family studies at Texas Tech University in Lubbock said the brain is constantly developing and building over time, and healthy relationships are critically important in those early years.

“If there is a mother who is absent, neglectful or depressed, the baby doesn’t get what we call serve-and-return,” Mastergeorge said.

In a room full of educators at SXSW EDU in March, she compared the connection to a tennis match and said the “serve-and-return” interactions between parent and child help build the architecture of the brain.

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Serve and return modelServe and return model
Serve-and-return model illustrating the back-and-forth that contributes to a child’s brain development

The majority of brain development happens in the first few years of life and so when negative experiences occur, they can have lasting impacts on the structure and function of the brain, Mastergeorge said.

She gave an example of a 9-month-old baby who had a neglectful mother struggling with substance abuse. The baby was placed with the maternal grandmother and eventually ended up in foster care, placed with eight different families. Mastergeorge said due to those experiences, the baby was suffering from toxic stress which included signs of distress and attachment disorder.

The most common adverse life
experiences include:

  • harsh parenting
  • disorganized attachment early on
  • poverty
  • neglect
  • maltreatment (physical, verbal and sexual abuse)
  • maternal depression
  • witness to domestic violence

“Unfortunately, these adverse life experiences can be sort of like an avalanche,” Mastergeorge said. “They just don’t get better without intervention.”

Positive change can happen

On the other hand, children can have buffers to the adverse life experiences in the form of a teacher who is a very positive influence, a grandparent or even a neighbor. While mental health is very complex, Mastergeorge said the ways in which you can connect with children can be very simple.

In preschool, for example, teachers often greet every student who walks into the classroom. They have a choice of whether to do a high-five or a hug or a fist bump.

“What happens is often times we coddle and hug and interact with very young children and then in our culture we seem to stop at a particular point in time – like [with] school-age children, they don’t need that, we don’t need to talk to them, they’re fine,” Mastergeorge said. “But, in fact, they need that.”

When it comes to which
mental health programs are working well in the educational setting, she
believes school-wide initiatives working the best involve the family and home
environment. Even after years of negative experiences taking a toll on a
child’s brain, Mastergeorge said rigorous programs do produce positive
outcomes.

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18 Aug

MARIETTA, Ohio (KXAN) — It’s your first day as a sixth-grader at a new middle school campus. You can feel the butterflies going crazy in your stomach, and your heart is beating out of your chest. You’ve tried on five different outfits, texted your friends to get their opinions and decided to carpool with them so you don’t have to walk in by yourself. Or better yet, you’re riding the bus and won’t have to be alone.

Marietta Middle SchoolMarietta Middle School
Marietta Middle School in Marietta, Ohio
(KXAN Photo/Erin Cargile)

Teachers at Marietta Middle School in Marietta, Ohio, know how nerve-racking that first day at a new school can be. On top of that, the massive historic red brick building built in 1926 looks intimidating when you first pull up.

So last year, all of the staff members decorated poster boards with encouraging words and lined up in the morning outside where students get dropped off. Principal Brittany Schob told KXAN it was an encouraging sight to see on the first day of school, and they’ve decided to make it an annual tradition.

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This year, when new students
step foot inside the school they will start noticing that the quotes and
positive messages are just part of the landscape and culture on campus.

“I think the more kids see it, the more they hear it from us, then the more it just gets embedded into their daily routine,” Schob said. “It’s that positive reinforcement.”

Last school year, a local
college student looking for something creative to do during national
anti-bullying month came up with the idea to jazz up the boys’ and girls’ restrooms by
painting the stalls with positive quotes and artwork.

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In addition, larger-than-life
posters have been purposefully placed at the ends of heavily traveled hallways
and above walls of cream-colored vintage lockers. One of the signs is saturated
with a vibrant, graffiti-style background and says, “Be better than you were
yesterday.” Another one is made to look like a student is standing and looking
down at their black Converse shoes on the pavement, and big bold white letters
spell out, “It starts with you.” In a hallway full of classrooms upstairs, bright
yellow, wild sunflowers cover a sign that says, “Plant happiness.”

Seventh-grade language arts teacher Shanaka Haney-McGowan was the catalyst behind the indoor wall decor after seeing examples in a teaching magazine on tolerance. She wanted something that would really get students’ attention, so Haney-McGowan worked with the art teacher to create original designs. They took into account the colors that would complement the hallways and coordinate with the sayings.

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A local company called Signality partnered with the campus and offered to make the signs for free. Without the donation, Haney-McGowan said the project might not have been possible. The reusable vinyl signs, which were heat-sealed to the wall, would have cost the school a total of $1,300.

“Hopefully, each kid gets a message that
speaks to them whenever they need it,” said Hanes-McGowan, who added a lot of
her students worry about acceptance.

More than half of the middle school students come from low-income families, and the area is made up of mostly white families.

Marietta Middle School entranceMarietta Middle School entrance
Signs at the entrance of Marietta Middle School (KXAN Photo: Erin Cargile)

“[We don’t have] a lot of LGBTQ-plus kids for people to identify with so I think anytime kids can find somebody that they know is open and accepting of them is helpful,” Hanes-McGowan said. “We also have a drug epidemic that is huge in our area, so when kids come to school they come here to be safe and loved so we need them to feel safe and loved. So, hopefully, these signs help them do that.”

Incoming eighth-grade class president Tate Ayers, 13, took notice of the signs posted on the seventh-grade floor.

His favorite one says, “It’s not a bad
life, it’s just a bad day.” Ayers believes the signs have the power to put
students in a better mood.

“I think it really helps people to be more positive and that’s really what Marietta Middle School needs is more positivity,” Ayers said.

Marietta MS Principal's officeMarietta MS Principal's office
Sign hanging in the principal’s office at Marietta Middle School (KXAN Photo: Erin Cargile)

Principal Schob, whose office is also plastered with memorable quotes, said the idea of creating an uplifting atmosphere took off after the campus went through Rachel’s Challenge. The program is designed to reduce violence and teach students the importance of spreading kindness. It was created by the father of Rachel Scott, who was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.

“This is an age where — self-confidence — they’re trying to figure out who they are, you know, who they fit in with,” Schob said. “We do have to work a lot with being nice to one another and how to be respectful to one another.”

Rachel’s Challenge has visited 300 school districts in Texas. In the last few years, speakers have encouraged teachers and students in Georgetown, Lake Travis and Round Rock school districts to spread kindness. It is up to each individual campus to decide how it will carry on the lessons learned.

Marietta Middle School measures the success

Schob points to a campus
climate survey sent to parents and students to gauge how well their extra
efforts to beef up positive messaging are working. When you compare the last
two school years, student responses stayed about the same.

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Marietta Middle School campus climate survey results (Data provided by Marietta Middle School)

The jump came from parents. This last school year, almost every parent said they feel like someone at school cares about their child, and that teachers expect their children to do their very best.

There are other mental
health initiatives at play on the campus. The district started bringing in
additional licensed counselors from an outside agency to work with students,
and the middle schoolers also go through suicide prevention training and
screenings.

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17 Aug

The selection of chairperson and members of District Mental Health Review Boards is under process and will be completed in the next few weeks. Once the members are nominated, the 13 boards will start functioning.

The State Mental Health Authority (SMHA) is currently processing the applications. It had called for applications for appointment to various positions last month.

The boards are headquartered at Chennai, Tiruvallur, Vellore, Villupuram, Salem, Erode, Tiruchi, Ramanathapuram, Theni, Tirunelveli, Coimbatore, Thanjavur and Madurai. Except in Chennai, the boards will cover two to three districts each. “We are currently processing the applications. The process will be completed in the next few weeks,” an official said.

As per the Mental Healthcare Act, the board should consist of a district judge or an officer of the State judicial services who is qualified to be appointed as district judge or retired district judge as chairperson. It should have two members including a psychiatrist and two members such as those with mental illness or care-givers or NGOs working in the field of mental health.

Periodic reviews

Officials said the board would play a pivotal role in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients at the district-level. One of the main responsibilities of the board is to take up periodic review of supported admissions/involuntary admissions.

This was admission of a person with mental illness without his/her consent or against his/her wish, officials said. “The main aim of the Act is to rehabilitate patients so that they can go back into the society. In many cases, patients are admitted and they stay for more than one or two years. Supported admissions need monitoring and supervision. So, the boards will take up periodic reviews of such cases,” he added. This could be at any hospital where psychiatric patients are admitted — a government or private hospital, medical college hospital, nursing home, de-addiction centre or private psychiatry facility.

“The medical officer of the mental health establishment should inform the respective mental health review board of such an admission in three days in case of an adult and within 24 hours if it is a woman or minor,” he said.

The admission of all minors should be with the consent of legal guardian and should be reviewed by the board within three weeks, he added.

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17 Aug
  • Two statements from APA officials make it clear that they don’t see any substantial link between mental illness and gun violence.
  • Decades of studies show that there is no conclusive evidence to this knee jerk rhetoric.
  • Officials reiterate the argument that the easy access to guns is to blame.

In the wake of the latest mass shootings throughout the United States, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has pushed back against politicians linking mental illness to the issue. The country’s largest organization of psychiatrists released a number of statements condemning what they considered a faulty line of thinking.

The APA believes that people with mental illness are at risk for greater stigmatization because of this kind of rhetoric. Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, CEO of the APA, released a statement outlining his thoughts on the matter.

Blaming mental illness for the gun violence in our country is simplistic and inaccurate and goes against the scientific evidence currently available. – Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD

Countless studies have found that there is no conclusive evidence that marks the mentally ill with having a greater predisposition for gun violence.

“The United States is a global outlier when it comes to horrific headlines like the ones that consumed us all weekend. Although the United States makes up less than 5% of the world’s population, we are home to 31% of all mass shooters globally, according to a CNN analysis. This difference is not explained by the rate of mental illness in the U.S.”

The APA believes that it’s our access to guns which foster these calamities.

Access to guns 

It’s a common refrain from gun advocates after a terrible tragedy. That guns aren’t the problem, the mentally deranged are. A recent study from the University of Texas Medical Branch found that gun access, not mental health leads to gun violence.

“Americans own nearly half of the estimated 650 million civilian-owned guns in the world. Access to this final, fatal tool means more deaths that occur more quickly, whether in a mass shooting or in someone’s own home.”

The aforementioned study looked into three potential links to gun violence: gun access and ownership, mental illness, and personality traits. The only thing that conclusively predicted gun violence was access.

“Counter to public beliefs, the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit,” the researchers stated.

Again, Evans echoed this in his APA statement. Psychological scientists have repeatedly found that the majority of people will mental illness are not violent. Currently, there’s no singular way to predict whether or not someone will engage in gun violence either.

Mental illness myth 

The main driving psychological driving force behind mass shooters is a bit confused. Liza H. Gold and Robert I. Simon’s book Gun Violence and Mental illness found that less than 5% of mass shootings have been connected to someone with a psychiatric disorder, or one that could be diagnosed.

Yet, to the psychiatric layperson (especially pundits and politicians) – the presumption to commit a heinous crime like a mass shooting, seems like just the thing an insane person would do. No matter the categorization from the APA, or the DSM-5 keepers – common sense dictates that there is something seriously wrong with these people.

The psychological profile for mass shooters is usually a young angry and isolated male. Regardless of their ill-fated crusades, social woes, color or creed, they are all intellectually stunted idealogues. Radicalized by their sources of hate, ignorance and bigotry – the unholy three – and unfettered access to guns leads us to this ceaseless problem.

Yet, psychiatrists point out again that other countries have the same exceptionally high amount of mental disorders, like for example in Western Europe. But there is not the same high number of mass shootings. The care for our mentally ill and other ideas being floated around like the dearth of our open mental institutions – are a related but separate problem entirely.

APA President Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD said equally as much:

“The combination of easy access to assault weapons and hateful rhetoric is toxic. Psychological science has demonstrated that social contagion — the spread of thoughts, emotions and behaviors from person to person and among larger groups — is real, and may well be a factor, at least in the El Paso shooting.”

Currently, the best in class have a plan to lessen the frequency of mass shootings.

“Based on the psychological science, we know some of the steps we need to take. We need to limit civilians’ access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. We need to institute universal background checks. And we should institute red flag laws that remove guns from people who are at high risk of committing violent acts.”

The APA mentions that President Trump has called on the nation to “do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs.” Research, that they think they can eventually do. Trump has also put forth the idea that he wants social media companies to develop A.I. that could flag potential mass shooters before they strike – something right out of a Phillip K. Dick novel.

Evans ends his statement with a true call to arms, to get past the rhetoric once and for all and create real solutions.

“The president clearly said that it is time to stop the hateful rhetoric that is infecting the public discourse. We ask that he use his powerful position to model that behavior. And we ask that the federal government support the research needed to better understand the causes of bigotry and hate, and their association to violence, so that we may devise evidence-based solutions.”

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17 Aug


Opinion


|

Letter



Let’s shift the pro and anti gun sentiments and current politicized deadlock to creating a solution








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Let’s look at things a little differently and shift from the Second Amendment argument to the First Amendment. The following opinion is meant to examine a small segment of the population, i.e. unstable persons with clear violent intent. As a former mental health professional for the Crisis Response Team, I witnessed daily pleas by family members and loved ones concerned for the safety of someone who is making threatening remarks to harm themselves or others. Calls to police, county attorney and public defender’s offices, and psychiatric hospitals were very similar. An emotionally unstable person had a gun or an arsenal of guns and was threatening to kill a lot of people. Sadly, unless the person’s intent was imminent as defined in the Montana Mental Health Code, there is nothing law enforcement or mental health professionals can do other than a welfare check and mental health evaluation. In many cases this has occurred multiple times, and usually the person is released from the ER or jail because the threats were not “imminent.” The responses from police, judicial and mental health systems appears to be a weak merry-go-round of “there’s nothing we can do” because of how the mental health statute is worded. See Montana Code Annotated 53-21-102 Definitions and (7) Emergency Situation, and 53-21-129 Emergency situation/petition/detention.

We need to have an open dialogue about mental health. Please engage your legislators to examine the definition and criteria of what constitutes an “Emergency Situation.” This needs to be changed at a state and national level. We need the cooperation of the National Rifle Association and the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill (NAMI) to respectfully move forward with changing the verbiage for involuntary civil commitments. Let’s shift the pro and anti gun sentiments and current politicized deadlock to creating a solution.

Sonya French, MSW
Kalispell



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17 Aug

When law enforcement officers share their experiences with friends and family, whether it’s responding to a car accident, a domestic dispute or a shooting, Atlantic County Sheriff Eric Scheffler said it can feel isolating. 

“You can see the face of your loved ones literally change and you show them the bad,” Scheffler said. “We quickly realize, wow, we don’t want to share that with them so instead of coming home and bearing or souls and being able to communicate and being able to get it off of our body, we have to hold it in.”

While repressing these kinds of negative feelings may have plagued law enforcement bodies in the past, things are changing on the state and local levels as top officials are putting resiliency training to the forefront. 

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal issued a directive earlier this month that requires all law enforcement agencies in the state to appoint at least one resiliency program officer, RPO, who will be responsible for implementing the state’s resiliency training program designed to create a supportive culture. 

“The men and women of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect the citizens of New Jersey. Often the first to respond to a scene, these officers regularly encounter some of the most traumatic events affecting their community,” Grewal said in a news release.

The program is modeled off of training used by the FBI. 

Scheffler, who has served as a certified trainer for the FBI and worked with other leaders to develop the state program, said that resiliency is based on fulfilling needs in four domains: mental, physical, spiritual and social.

He said police, and first-responders in general, may not know that the exhaustion they might feel from the job can stem from mental exhaustion and stress over time. Resiliency training is designed to give them the tools to respond positively to that stress. 

“We talk about how to reset that,” Scheffler said. “When you feel like that do you go to potato chips and a beer or do you go for a walk?”

Grewal also mentioned the emotional and mental toll of this work that can contribute to a range of health issues, including increased blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, substance misuse, family and relationship stress, self-harm and risk of suicide. 

According to Blue HELP, a nonprofit organization that tracks and monitors law enforcement suicides, at least 167 officers died by suicide last year, more than the total number of line-of-duty deaths. In New Jersey 37 law enforcement officers reportedly have died by suicide since 2016, according to the organization.

“We have a special responsibility to ensure that New Jersey’s law enforcement officers are equipped with the tools they need to cope with the unique stressors of their work,” Grewal said. 

The resiliency program officer will not only train the officers in their agency but also provide contact information for any other support services and programs.

RPOs are also not limited to just serving their own department. Grewal said that any officer can come to any RPO for assistance. 

The RPO will not replace existing support programs. Grewal said law enforcement officers are encouraged to continue to use these and other programs whenever needed.

“I think the directive is a good thing for police officers. It’s going to help them do their job better and in times of crisis have resources to call upon,” said Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae. “Any new tool in the toolbox for mental well being is a plus for everyone.”

Each county prosecutor will appoint one or more county RPO trainers and each state law enforcement agency will appoint one more state RPO trainers within 60 days of the directive.

They will then complete a train-the-trainer program no later than Dec. 31, 2020.

These officers will then train local law enforcement RPOs. All local law enforcement will receive resiliency training by the end of 2022.

Middle Township Police Chief and the President of the Chiefs of Police Association Christopher Leuser said he thinks the real value in this is the fact that leaders such as Grewal are talking about this issue in the open.

“This is something that has not been talked about in the open very often,” Leusner said. “I think it’s important that we bring it into the open that we talk about it that we communicate to our officers that asking for help is a show of strength.”

The department already utilizes Cop 2 Cop, 24-hour hotline officers can call at any time, and employee assistance programs. Now Leuser is in the process of appointing an RPO that will go through a two-day training in Trenton in October. 

“This is a step in creating a culture where it’s okay to talk about this it’s okay to say I’m impacted and okay I need help,” he said. 


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17 Aug

Chance the Rapper on why he donated $1M for mental health: ‘We all can be affected by it’ | GMA







































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17 Aug

The new study found that social media use may interfere with activities that have a positive impact on mental health. Teenage girls are especially vulnerable to the potentially harmful effects of excessive social media use.   ( Pixabay )

Another research has linked the excessive use of social media sites, such as Instagram and Twitter, to psychological distress, especially among teenage girls.

A team of researchers interviewed over 12,000 young students ages 13 to 16 in England. They were asked about how often during the day they check Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. After three years, the same respondents were asked to evaluate their levels of happiness, how anxious they feel, and if they are satisfied with life.

Social Media Linked To Psychological Distress

The paper published in the journal The Lancet revealed that teenage boys and girls who admitted to using social media more than three times a day reported poorer mental health and greater psychological distress. The girls, in particular, said that they feel less happy and more anxious.

However, the researchers explained that the negative impact of social media use to the female respondents’ mental health was due to disrupted sleep, lack of exercise, and exposure to cyberbullying.

For boys, these factors were also observed but the impact on their mental health was significantly smaller. Further research is needed to find out what is causing psychological distress among male students who use social media.

“Our results suggest that social media itself doesn’t cause harm, but that frequent use may disrupt activities that have a positive impact on mental health such as sleeping and exercising, while increasing exposure of young people to harmful content, particularly the negative experience of cyberbullying,” explained Russell Viner, co-author of the paper.

This is not the first time that a study has linked social media use among teenagers to poor mental health. In July, another study warned that spending too much time browsing social media sites and watching television could impact the severity of depressive symptoms that young people experience.

What Parents Can Do

The researchers clarified that the study does not mean that social media is inherently evil. In fact, Viner said that social media can have positive impacts on teenagers.

Parents, however, should make sure that their children’s use of social media is not interfering with activities that are known to improve mental health.

“But they should worry about how much physical activity and sleep they’re getting, because social media is displacing other things,” added Dasha Nicholls, one of the authors of the paper. “It’s about getting a balance.”

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