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Social media and youth mental health 2023 951.75 KB

A Surgeon General’s Advisory is a public statement that calls the American people’s attention to an urgent public health issue and provides recommendations for how it should be addressed. Advisories are reserved for significant public health challenges that require the nation’s immediate awareness and action.

This Advisory calls attention to the growing concerns about the effects of social media on youth mental health. It explores and describes the current evidence on the positive and negative impacts of social media on children and adolescents, some of the primary areas for mental health and well-being concerns, and opportunities for additional research to help understand the full scope and scale of social media’s impact.

The Advisory expands on the following recommendations:

What policy-makers can do: Policy-makers play an important role in addressing the complex and multifaceted issues related to social media use and in protecting youth from harm.

What technology companies can do: Technology companies play a central role and have a fundamental responsibility in designing safe online environments and in preventing, minimising, and addressing the risks associated with social media.

What parents and caregivers can do: The onus of mitigating the potential harms of social media should not be placed solely on the shoulders of parents and caregivers, but there are steps they can take to help protect and support children and adolescents against the risk of harm.

What children and adolescents can do: The burden of mitigating the potential harms of social media does not rest solely on the shoulders of children and adolescents, but there are measures they can take to navigate social media in a safe and healthy way

What researchers can do: Researchers play a critical role in helping to gain a better understanding of the full impact of social media on mental health and well-being and informing policy, best practices, and effective interventions.

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