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Is social media causing childhood depression?

BBC – Jane Wakefield

“Rangan Chatterjee is a GP and says he has seen plenty of evidence of the link between mental ill-health in youngsters and their use of social media. One 16 year-old boy was referred to him after he self-harmed and ended up in A&E. “The first thought was to put him on anti-depressants but I chatted to him and it sounded like his use of social media was having a negative impact on his health.” So Dr Chatterjee suggested a simple solution – the teenager should attempt to wean himself off social media, restricting himself to just an hour before he went to bed. Over the course of a few weeks, he should extend this to two hours at night and two in the morning.” (more)

Students are ‘crippled by anxiety’ and ‘crying out for help.’ Educators hear them

The Star-Telegram – Sandra Engelland

“Phrases like “I want to die” or “they’d be better off without me” are being echoed too often by students and Keller school district officials are developing a framework for social and emotional learning to help. “There’s definitely been an uptick in kids who are just crippled by anxiety and feeling overwhelmed,” said Shannon Jenkins, coordinator of elementary counseling for the Keller district. “They’re crying out for help in the only way they know how.” Sometimes the kids give in to their pain.” (more)

More children are starting school depressed and anxious – without help, it will only get worse

Medical X-Press – Ameneh Shahaeian And Cen Wang

“This article is part of a series that draws on the latest research on back to school transitions. In it, experts explain how best to prepare children for school, and counter difficulties such as stress or bad behaviour. Starting school for the first time can be stressful. Children are suddenly thrown into a foreign environment, juggling the pressure of learning new academic skills and establishing relationships with peers. Some thrive, but others may need support through this transition.” (more)

‘Depression education’ effective for some teens

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“In an assessment of their “depression literacy” program, which has already been taught to tens of thousands, Johns Hopkins researchers say the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP) achieved its intended effect of encouraging many teenagers to speak up and seek adult help for themselves or a peer. The program provides selected high school teachers a curriculum geared to students in ninth or 10th grade in the required health education classes.” (more)

Teens who were severely bullied as children at higher risk of suicidal thoughts, mental health issue

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Teens who were severely bullied as children by peers are at higher risk of mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts and behaviours, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). “Our findings showed a general tendency, in about 15% of the children, of being exposed to the most severe levels of victimization from the beginning of their education until the transition to high school,” writes Dr. Marie-Claude Geoffroy, McGill Group for Suicide Studies, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, with coauthors.” (more)

Suicide prevention: Texting, calling and noticing warning signs

The Washington Post – Donna St. George

“Sue Rosenstock, who lost a 16-year-old son to suicide and has become an ardent advocate for prevention, tells teenagers in Maryland and beyond that they can seek help by text message — through the number 741741. Rosenstock also talks a lot about warning signs of emotional suffering: personality change, agitation, withdrawal, lack of self-care and hopelessness. And she gives out the national suicide prevention number: 800-273-8255 (TALK).”(more)