Check in with Your Friends

According to the Office for National Statistics, 12% of British children who don’t use any social networking apps or sites on a normal school day exhibit symptoms of mental ill health. When those parameters are extended to include young people who spend three or more hours on those platforms in a day, however, the proportion with mental health difficulties leaps to 27%.

Many of the staunchest challenges that children face in modern life are encountered online – but they don’t have to overcome those obstacles alone. To tie in with Children’s Mental Health Week, our #WakeUpWednesday poster has tips for how young people can also use the digital world to support any friends who may be enduring a tough time.

Concerns over the impact of social media on mental wellbeing have often been raised in connection with the substantial growth in mental health problems among the young. In the same context, however, social media can also be a force for good: it enables children to – privately and discretely – check in with friends who they believe are experiencing a bad time.   In support of Children’s Mental Health Week, we’ve produced a special #WakeUpWednesday poster that can be printed and displayed in classrooms. It’s designed to remind young people that their friends might not always be OK – and when that happens, simply reaching out and being there for them can be a wonderfully reassuring act.