Social Media and Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Liberty House is incredibly proud to highlight the work of a local high school senior, Carolina, on a project raising awareness and offering tips on social media and mental health.  If you missed this campaign on our iRespect&Protect accounts on Facebook and Instagram, we’ve collected these posts in today’s blog.

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Effects of Social Media on Mental Health

Have you ever had a conversation with your child about how they feel when using their cell phones or social media? As adults, we have a point of reference of a time before cell phones and social media ruled the world. However, kids today have never known a world without cell phones and internet access. They are growing up with mobile devices not only in their homes, but also in their classrooms. This is their “normal.”

In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about the connections between social media use and mental health, actions we can take to make social media safer, and how to start having these safety conversations.

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Sextortion: Fastest-Growing Online Threat to Children

Sextortion is a difficult and sensitive subject, but we need to talk about it.

Every adult needs to know about this new form of child sexual exploitation that has dramatically increased over recent years.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, sextortion is the fastest-growing online threat to children.  In December 2022, a national public safety alert was made to raise awareness about an explosion of cases. 

In today’s blog, we are going to define sextortion, explain how and why youth are targeted, provide tips to help prevent this child sexual exploitation, and offer ways to support youth.

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Talking to Youth About Pornography

Sometimes we can avoid talking about sensitive subjects because we fear it might be awkward, difficult, or even stressful.  However, it’s always better to be proactive and have the talk!

Why is it important to talk to your kids about pornography?

Youth are being exposed to pornography at younger and younger ages.

According to a 2022 report from Common Sense Media, 15% of teens surveyed said they first viewed pornography at age 10 or younger.  The average age that youth self-reported being exposed to online pornography was 12 years old.

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Helping Youth in Unhealthy Relationships

Growing up is hard and being a parent can feel very difficult at times.

It can also feel pretty scary when teens start dating. And through no fault of their own, anyone can find themselves in an unhealthy relationship.

In today’s blog, we’ll highlight warning signs and share strategies to help youth in unhealthy relationships.

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Dangers of Communicating Online – Blog Series

Check out our posts highlighting individual apps, games, and websites parents should be aware of.

Dangers of Communicating Online

Learn about the dangers of apps, games, and websites and the risks of communicating online. Read our safety tips and recommendations to help support and empower youth to make healthy online choices.

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What Is IMVU?

Understand more about IMVU, the risks of this 3D virtual chat universe, and safety recommendations.

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What Is Minecraft?

Learn more about the popular video game Minecraft, potential risks, and how to make the gameplay experience safer.

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What Is Among Us?

Understand more about the strategy game Among Us as well as safety recommendations to reduce risks for children.

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What Is Roblox?

Learn more about Roblox, important risks on this online gaming platform, and safety recommendations for families.

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What Is Fortnite?

Understand more about Fortnite and recommendations to safely manage the risks present in this multiplayer game.

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What Is GroupMe?

Learn more about the group and private messaging app GroupMe, potential risks, and recommendations to chat safer.

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What Is Reddit?

Understand more about Reddit, risks on this platform and subreddits, and recommended ways to be safer.

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What Is 4chan?

Learn more about the dangerous website 4chan and our recommendations to avoid the safety risks it presents.

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What Is Kik?

Understand more about Kik, risks on this messaging platform, and recommended safety measures.

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What Is Omegle?

Learn more about Omegle and why it’s an incredibly dangerous anonymous chatting platform that’s not safe for children.

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What Is Twitch?

Understand more about the livestreaming platform Twitch as well as the potential risks and safety recommendations for children.

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What Is Discord?

Learn more about the messaging platform Discord along with the risks and recommended ways to chat safely.

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What Is Snapchat?

Learn more about Snapchat—the favorite messaging app of teens—as well as the risks and safety recommendations.

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What Is WhatsApp?

Learn more about WhatsApp, common risks on this messaging platform, and recommendations to create a safer experience for children.

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What Is YouTube?

Understand more about the key risks on YouTube and recommended ways to be safer on the most popular social media app.

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What Is TikTok?

Understand more about the social media app TikTok, risks associated with this platform, and recommendations about how to increase safety.

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Back to School: Online Safety

With summer winding down, youth are returning to school and looking forward to the new academic year!  New friends, new classes, new teachers, and new opportunities to learn. While this is an exciting time, it’s also an excellent time to talk about safety. Every school year presents an opportunity to learn from the past and create healthy habits for the future. iRespect&Protect’s interactive tools and resources can help equip parents, caregivers, teachers, and other adults with ways we can all help children be safe online and offline.

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