Resilience must be central to children’s upbringing to promote mental well-being, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has cautioned further inaction is not an option after a report showed young people feel social media creates an overwhelming pressure to succeed, while comparing their lives to others on the platforms makes them feel inadequate.

The Prince’s Trust eBay Youth Index report for Children’s Mental Health Week showed two-thirds of young people aged 16-25 have a sense of being overwhelmed by a constant pressure to succeed and are made to feel inadequate because of social media.

“This report demonstrates inaction is not an option and little has been achieved to deliver improved mental well-being among young people over the past year. This is yet another group being failed by the irresponsibility and incompetence of the two largest parties in Northern Ireland.

“Social media has advantages and disadvantages, and here we have clear evidence of the latter. However, it is here to stay for the foreseeable future, so we have to take action on mental well-being, taking social media into account.

“We need to restore our focus on promoting resilience and confidence building in youth work, in schools and in parenting to try to prepare children better for the future, in which social media is bound to continue to have a role.”

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