Girlguiding is partnering with Dove and a group of campaigning organisations to make social media safer for young people

Social media is making kids sick.Dove.jpg

Over 8 in 10 youth mental health specialists say social media is fuelling a mental health crisis among young people.

New research from the Dove Self-Esteem Project has revealed:

  • 9 in 10 kids are exposed to toxic beauty content on social media. As a result, this harmful content is impacting the mental health of 1 in 2 kids.
  • 9 in 10 youth mental health specialists say exposure to harmful beauty content on social media can lead to physical consequences, like disordered eating or self-harm.

Dove’s ‘Campaign for Kids Online Safety’ is taking action to support young people’s mental health.

The video below contains sensitive content and references eating disorders, depression and self harm.

Dove is funding access to mental health resources and support organisations that are working to make social media safer from the design level. 

Campaigning for safer social media 

Girlguiding, together with Global Action Plan, 5Rights and Parenting Mental Health, will raise awareness of harmful features on social media to encourage new design standards that will make social media safer for kids.

Together, we can protect our kids’ mental health. Visit Dove's website to sign the ‘Protect Kids’ Mental Health’ petition from GAP and 5Rights to call for social media to be made safe by design.

Social media is an integral part of modern life and is so accessible that most of us use it from an early age without realising the effects that it can have on our mental health. Girlguiding’s research has shown that 2 in 5 girls and young women aged 11-21 say after seeing images on online they feel more insecure and less confident about themselves. There are many unhealthy expectations that are exaggerated by social media that we see as young people everyday. I will be signing the Protect Kid's Mental Health petition, and I'll encourage everyone to do the same' - Katie, advocate, aged 16 

Providing access to resources

In partnership with the Maudsley Charity, Dove will fund Mental Health Facilities at the Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People – a new facility that will protect the mental health of some of the UK’s most vulnerable young people experiencing anxiety, depression, self-harm, and eating disorders.

In partnership with Parenting Mental Health, Dove will make access to support services and advocates more accessible for parents whose kids are navigating mental health challenges.

If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s health, you can contact Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, 365 days a year on 0808 801 0677 or at their website. Text SHOUT to 85258 for free, confidential mental health support, 24/7.