BACP discussed the impact of social media on young people’s mental health with policy-makers, technology companies and children’s charities during an event in London.

Jo Holmes, our new Children, Young People and Families lead, attended the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing in London on Wednesday, 11 January.

The session gave professionals from different fields a chance to share their expertise and evidence on the subject as well as to network and discuss future collaborations.

A representative from Facebook and Instagram presented the social media giants' policies on how they plan to keep users safer online.

He spoke about how the companies were working to block, stop and remove posts that were reported because of cyber-bullying, self-harm, radicalisation and child sexual exploitation – and how there was an awareness that these issues can affect mental health.

The advantages of internet use was also discussed, including how it can help some young people feel more connected to others, especially those within the LGBT community.

Jo said: “We regularly hear from our members about how social media is affecting young people’s mental health. For some children the digital world is taking over their entire lives.

“It’s important we are part of the conversation on what to do about this issue and are able to share our evidence and expertise that could make a difference to young people’s lives in the future.

“This was a very interesting first meeting to attend and it was encouraging to hear how technology companies are working together and taking responsibility to put safer mechanisms in place to protect children and young people.”

To find a counsellor who can help a child or young person visit our Find a Therapist directory.