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Today, United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released a new Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media and Youth Mental Health – PDF. While social media may offer some benefits, there are ample indicators that social media can also pose a risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents. Social media use by young people is nearly universal, with up to 95% of young people ages 13-17 reporting using a social media platform and more than a third saying they use social media “almost constantly.”

With adolescence and childhood representing a critical stage in brain development that can make young people more vulnerable to harms from social media, the Surgeon General is issuing a call for urgent action by policymakers, technology companies, researchers, families, and young people alike to gain a better understanding of the full impact of social media use, maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of social media platforms, and create safer, healthier online environments to protect children. The Surgeon General’s Advisory is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) ongoing efforts to support President Joe Biden’s whole-of-government strategy to transform mental health care for all Americans.

The Surgeon General of the United States has released a new advisory highlighting the adverse effects of social media use on the mental health of young individuals. The advisory emphasizes the need for increased awareness and proactive measures to address this growing concern. As social media becomes an integral part of young people’s lives, its influence on mental well-being cannot be overlooked. The Surgeon General’s report sheds light on the potential negative impacts of excessive social media consumption and offers recommendations to mitigate its effects.

According to the advisory, prolonged social media use can contribute to feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and low self-esteem among adolescents and young adults. It also highlights the association between excessive screen time and reduced physical activity, disrupted sleep patterns, cyberbullying, and online harassment.

To combat these issues, the advisory encourages parents, educators, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to work together in promoting digital literacy and fostering healthier online habits. The Surgeon General urges individuals to be mindful of their social media usage, set boundaries, and cultivate real-life connections to support positive mental health.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s crucial to seek professional help. is here to support you on your journey to recovery. Contact our helpline at 855-339-1112 to connect with experienced counselors who can provide guidance and assistance. Remember, reaching out for help is the first step towards a healthier and happier life.


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