MENTAL HEALTH FACTS:
According to the CMHA, Canadian Mental Health Association:
- Approximately 1 in 5 Canadian youth suffer from a mental illness.
- 17% of youths under the age of 19 have gone through severe depression.
- 3.2 million Canadian people under the age of 19 are at risk of depression.
- Canada has among the highest suicide rate for youths in the world.
- Suicide ranks the highest for Canadian deaths for people under the age of 24.
- However, 4 out of 5 people who seek help for depression can overcome the disorder.
For the full CMHA article: Fast Facts About Mental Illness
SOCIAL MEDIA CAN AFFECT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF YOUTH
In the age of Social Media, one cannot help but ride the roller coaster of emotions. The cumulative highs and lows experienced can have a negative impact on one’s mental and physical well-being.
However, Instagram has recognized that there can be negative repercussions for those who use their social media platform as it has been known to cause identity, image, anxiety and depression issues primarily among our teens.
On the bright side, Instagram has taken ownership of the negative impact their social media app can create among our youth and has launched a campaign in Canada that will hide the total number of ‘likes’ on photos and videos. This initiative hopes to combat identity and image issues that can arise from teens using these Instagram ‘likes’ as a form of self validation.
Instagram wants to focus on the photos and videos that are shared instead of worrying about how many ‘likes’ users are going to get. Whether or not this initiative will be a success to improve mental health statistics remains to be seen. But it is a start.
Billions of people in the world use social media apps to communicate and share information with one another. Although, on the surface, these social media apps seem to provide a healthy way to socialize with people in the modern world, this can be far from true. Our youths of today are faced with many mental and emotional challenges. As an example, teens that already experience feelings of inadequacy for being different or less popular can have these difficulties magnified on Social Media apps. Instagram has recognized this is a growing problem and is willing to step up to make positive changes. One would hope that other social media platforms will also step up and join the initiative alongside Instagram, to make the necessary changes that will benefit the mental health of our youth.
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