Mental health is an increasingly high-profile topic in society and the media - particularly with exams season. The Mental Health Foundation offer a series of publications on how to look after your mental health that are available to download for free. These include 'How to overcome fear and anxiety', 'How to sleep better' and 'How to manage and reduce stress'. You can also visit our Safeguarding page focusing on mental health for further tips and links.
Media attention in recent weeks has focused on e-safety and electronic devices. The BBC reported an NSPCC call for immediate action on online safety while last year a similar article reported a study suggesting children don't feel safe online. Online video streaming site YouTube has also apologised recently after disturbing videos appeared in its kids' app. You can find more guidance on e-safety, including top tips from Greenford High School Cybermentors, on our E-Safety page.
Alongside safety online, there has been a lot of media attention recently regarding appropriate screen time for young people. This opinion piece on the Guardian website by Jean Twenge, a Psychology Professor at San Diego university, suggests 90 minutes a day should be the limit. She also offers links to a multitude of academic studies that have explored this topic further. The British Psychological Society, meanwhile, is calling for more evidence on appropriate levels of screen time for young people and offers a range of recommendations for parents and carers. These include:
- Minimise screen use before bedtime
- Encourage children to engage in a variety of activities away from screens
- Parents/carers should discuss the different aspects of digital media with their children and encourage positive media use
- Spend time online together to help young children get the most from educational content
Source: British Psychological Society, January 2018
young people and anxiety
There has been a lot in the news recently regarding young people and anxiety, depression and mental health. This BBC article highlighted concerns with access to mental health services while a study in September suggested a quarter of teenage girls experience the symptoms of depression. The Evening Standard reported this study alongside a guide to parents in helping a teenager with depression or anxiety.
The charity Young Minds has more information about anxiety including symptoms and how it can be treated. You can also find further information on stress, anxiety and depression on the NHS website.