Mental Health Month: Tips To Help Teens Navigate Social Media

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VENICE, CA — Navigating social media might be laborious at any age, particularly for youngsters residing in a pandemic. Venice Household Clinic shares some ideas to assist youngsters handle social media in a wholesome and accountable means throughout Psychological Well being Month this Could.

Keys to securely navigate social media

  • Embrace limiting contact data in profiles and posts
  • By no means give away private data, akin to present location, telephone numbers or addresses.
  • Preserve non-public data non-public and by no means meet up with an unknown individual with out a father or mother or pal current.
  • Guarantee that data is coming from respected sources.

Along with these pointers for guaranteeing teenagers’ bodily security, Venice Household Clinic’s Director of Behavioral Well being Iliniza (Nisa) Baty has supplied the next 4 ideas to assist teenagers and their households use social media in a mentally wholesome means:

1. Discover and work together along with your tribe. Social media permits us unparalleled entry to folks and teams with whom we share pursuits. Teenagers can benefit from these connections to construct networks of parents with comparable hobbies or pursuits. With thousands and thousands of individuals beginning new teams day-after-day, it’s simpler than ever to discover a group of people that take pleasure in the identical issues and wish to join – whether or not it’s an internet guide membership, a bunch of like-minded aspiring cooks, a cadre of devoted hikers or one thing else completely.

“Figuring out and fascinating with individuals who profit your psychological well being is vital. Discovering individuals who ‘fill your cup’ as an alternative of draining your power empowers us to really feel stronger and extra optimistic,” stated Baty. For instance, she shares that certainly one of her sufferers started educating on-line Zumba lessons when the pandemic started. The affected person now leads each in-person and on-line group lessons of likeminded train lovers which have develop into assist techniques for these concerned.

2. Be taught and check out new issues. Social media can present teenagers with home windows into new data and experiences – from video games, recipes and dance tendencies to do-it-yourself tutorials on repair a gap within the wall or construct a compass. On-line experiences have additionally develop into commonplace throughout COVID-19: digital concert events, podcasts, seminars and classes are nice alternatives for teenagers to enhance their information and self-confidence.

3. At all times train greatest practices and use social media moderately. Along with exercising warning and following greatest practices for protected social media use, teenagers ought to restrict their social media and display screen time to enhance psychological well being.

“Deal with your physique properly and your mind will observe,” Baty tells teenagers. “Introducing a ‘digital sundown’ earlier than a very good evening’s sleep will help enhance sleep patterns and scale back nervousness. Once you do use social media, take common breaks to get outdoors and ensure to work together with nature and take part in bodily actions. To advertise well-being, hydrate frequently and sleep 6-8 hours every evening.”

4. Do not be afraid to achieve out to others IRL. Most significantly, says Baty, is to not let teenagers’ use of social media isolate them. “Social connection is totally very important to teenagers’ psychological well being,” says Baty. “All of us have skilled elevated social isolation since COVID-19 started, and social media is usually a great instrument to bridge that hole – particularly for teenagers battling points they might not have the ability to share at residence. However it’s important to construct connections with others in actual life for deeper wellbeing.”

Methods to keep away from isolation can embrace searching for extra face-to-face time (even when by means of video chat), limiting digital notifications and proscribing the variety of hours spent on-line. And, as Baty factors out, social media is way from the one avenue for assist with psychological well being. Area people teams, golf equipment and sports activities groups are nice shops for bettering psychological well being, and many faculties provide counseling and applications to help teenagers. Venice Household Clinic additionally provides a wide range of providers to serve teenagers and its different sufferers at a number of areas throughout Los Angeles, together with teen counseling, LGBTQ+ assist, substance use therapy and even applications like cooking lessons, Zumba and yoga.

“Social media is usually a useful gizmo for gathering data, sharing concepts and reaching out to others when used responsibly,” stated Baty. “By offering the following tips, we hope to assist teenagers and their households enhance their psychological wellbeing whereas navigating this digital panorama.”

About Venice Household Clinic

Venice Household Clinic lately merged with South Bay Household Well being Care. The mixed group now serves 45,000 sufferers by means of 17 areas in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood, Culver Metropolis, Redondo Seaside, Carson, Gardena and Hawthorne plus two cellular clinics and an expansive avenue drugs program for folks experiencing homelessness.

The clinic gives built-in care by making a one-stop well being system that provides a number of providers, usually on the similar areas and similar time as main care appointments. These providers embrace dental care, substance use therapy, psychological well being providers, imaginative and prescient providers, youngster growth providers, well being schooling, prescription drugs, home violence counseling, HIV providers and medical insurance enrollment. For extra data, go to VeniceFamilyClinic.org.

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