U.S. Surgeon General Issues Advisory on Social Media and Youth Mental Health

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has issued an advisory about social media’s impact on youth mental health. It notes that while social media can provide benefits for some children and youth, there is a growing body of research about potential harms social media use poses.

Children and adolescents on social media are commonly exposed to extreme, inappropriate, and harmful content and frequent social media use can contribute to poor mental health, including depression and anxiety. The advisory outlines action steps that policymakers, technology companies, researchers, and families can take to mitigate the risk of harm and make social media safer and healthier for children and youth. OJJDP, in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), provides resources to keep youth safe online, including NCMEC’s NetSmartz program. In addition, OJJDP’s mentoring programs support youth mental health and its National Mentoring Resource Center is dedicated to enhancing mentoring practices that support positive youth outcomes.


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