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Cybersmile Launch New Mental Health Support Resource

The new resource focuses on various areas of mental health and how our use of the internet and social media affects us - topics covered include mental health, anxiety, eating disorders, body image, depression and self-harm. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links throughout the article to access various support services.

We are proud to announce the launch of a vital new mental health resource for our existing Help Center. The new Mental Health section explores some of the issues that can affect our mental health and wellbeing and how they are influenced or affected by the internet and the use of social media. The new mental health resource also contain access to trusted specialist organizations around the world.

Although many people use the internet without any serious problems, some people can be seriously affected by the content that they are exposed to, the websites that they visit and the internet users who they interact with – especially if they are young, vulnerable or have pre-existing conditions that can be affected by exposure to certain types of materials online.

Most of us already know about the dangers of cyberbullying, harassment and online abuse, all of which can cause terrible emotional suffering for the victims – but there are also other aspects of the internet that can affect us psychologically. How we use the internet and what types of content young or vulnerable users are being exposed to, can have negative, and in some cases, devastating effects on their mental health and wellbeing.

“It is now widely accepted that use of the internet and social media can have a profound impact on our emotional wellbeing. For many people, using the internet proves to carry very little risk at all – and that is great. For some people, the use of the internet can not only affect their emotional wellbeing but can also be a catalyst for serious mental health problems.”

Iain Alexander, Head of Engagement, The Cybersmile Foundation

To help people understand more about these risks, our new resource explores some of the issues that can affect our mental health such as anxiety, depression, body image, self-harm and eating disorders while highlighting the relationship between these issues and our online experiences. We look at how mental health problems can potentially be fueled by unhealthy and inappropriate online content, or toxic relationships with other users or communities that advocate or ‘glorify’ self-harm, eating disorders and suicide.

The new mental health resource also takes a closer look at the types of content that could encourage a vulnerable person to follow bad advice in the guise of peer support, such as pro-ana websites or online communities that promote self-harm and also how young people can be affected by negative body image, which can lead to problems that such as eating disorders.

If you are concerned about mental health and the way it is impacted by the internet and social media use, visit the new Mental Health resource. If you are affected by any kind of online negativity we can help! Visit our Cyberbullying and Online Abuse Help Center for practical tips and advice or our Total Access Support section to learn more about the various ways we can help you with your particular problem. For further information about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the following suggestions.

What are your thoughts about the new resource? Tweet us @CybersmileHQ.