young people

Are social media companies ‘failing young people’ on cyberbullying?

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Social media companies’ failure to tackle cyberbullying is putting the mental health of children and young people at risk, warns an inquiry from MPs and leading children’s charities.

Worryingly for parents, almost two thirds of (63%) of young people surveyed by the enquiry who had been cyberbullied said that they would not tell their parents if they experienced something upsetting online.

So, what can we do about it?

Cyberbullying takes many forms; persistent unwanted messaging, threats, sharing embarrassing photos. The report highlights the addictive nature of social media: one in ten (9%) young people surveyed admitted logging on after midnight every night and one young person said it was “almost like a drug”. Young people giving evidence to the inquiry described feeling judged and inadequate if they didn’t have enough likes or followers.

Young people who are the heaviest users of social media in all its forms are most likely to have low well-being and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Links between self-harm, suicide and cyberbullying have already been established by academics. Currently there are no rules requiring social media to protect young people from cyberbullying.

There are calls for social media companies and government to act, working together to resolve these issues. Parents have a role to play, raising awareness of online dangers and knowing what/who children are connecting with online. Perhaps most importantly knowing there are many ways of getting help to get the cyber bullying to stop. The following links can help;

respectme, support for Services

Childline telephone support for children and young people.

A National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People

Parentline a national, confidential helpline providing advice for parents

Cyberbullying – Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools.

Advice for parents on bullying

Work experience – Love It or Loath It?

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New research of UK teenagers has revealed that an overwhelming majority (83%) would like work experience to be made a compulsory part of the school curriculum.

The research by the Career Colleges Trust also found that more than two thirds (67%) of today’s teenagers believe work experience is beneficial for finding employment, seeing what working in a certain sector is like (63%) and more than half (56%) believe it allows you to learn valuable skills that are not taught in the classroom.

Today in Scotland, the work experience concept remains in place and there is an expectation that all pupils will have the opportunity to participate. For most mainstream secondary schools this takes the form of a one week work placement organised during a pupil’s 4th year.

So why is work experience such a good thing?

ONE…

In at number one: young people are more likely to be successful in their job hunt if they have done some good work experience. Fact.

Want some evidence? Well, over half of the graduate recruiters that took part in a recent research study by Highfliers said that, “graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer for their organisations’ graduate programmes.”

TWO…

If you haven’t got a clue what career you want to do, work experience is a perfect way to sample all the career options out there. It’s a way of exploring different jobs without actually committing to anything. You can dip your toe in the water without taking the full plunge.

THREE…

It’s the best way to get a real sense of your chosen industry. You’ll get to speak to employees and ask them questions. You won’t know what it’s like until you get closer to the action.

FOUR…

Doing work experience shows passion and interest. Evidence that you have done work experience shows the employer that you are motivated to get into a chosen career and that you’ve done your homework.

FIVE…

If you’re floundering about and frankly aren’t that bothered about your career, work experience might just be the kick up the backside you need. If you do a variety of different work placements, you might find something you are passionate about and get motivated.

SIX…

Work experience gently introduces you to the world of work. You get to learn the dos and don’ts, get work place savvy and learn to navigate your way through the jungle of office politics. Vitally, it’ll give you an idea of the skills you might need to thrive in the workplace.

SEVEN…

It’ll help you identify your own skills and perhaps even highlight the areas that you might want to work on.

EIGHT…

You might wow them so much that you’ll manage to wrangle yourself a job!

NINE…

It’s all about networking. It’ll help you build up contacts and, you never know, they might even give you a heads up about a future job or recommend you to another company.

TEN…

And yes, work experience does give you something to put on your CV!

 

 

Youth Loneliness

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You’re not supposed to feel lonely while you’re young, but the truth is it’s a bigger concern among young people than any other age group.

In recent years youth loneliness and isolation has been increasingly identified as a matter of significant public concern. Research identifies that one in three young people suffer from loneliness (Red Cross, Co-op, Kantar, 2016) and 65% of 16-25 years old reporting feeling loneliness at times and 32% feeling lonely “often” or “all the time” (Majoribanks and Bradley, 2017).

“Loneliness is a recognised problem among the elderly – there are day centres and charities to help them,” says Sam Challis, an information manager at the mental health charity Mind, “but when young people reach 21 they’re too old for youth services.”

But what can young people do to combat loneliness? 

While meditation techniques such as mindfulness and apps such as Headspace are trendy solutions frequently recommended for a range of mental health problems, they’re not necessarily helpful for loneliness, as they actively encourage us to dwell alone on our thoughts. You’re be better off addressing the underlying causes of being lonely first – what’s stopping you going out and seeing people?

Social media can be helpful. Helplines can also reduce loneliness, at least in the short term. One in four men who call the Samaritans mention loneliness or isolation, and Get Connected is a free confidential helpline for young people, where they can seek help with emotional and mental health issues often linked to loneliness. There are also support services on websites such as Mind’s that can remind you you’re not alone. Speak to your employer, value the interactions you have in the workplace. Counselling can be helpful. The BACP website allows you to search for counsellors in your area. “A problem aired is a problem shared and sometimes you need to talk to someone impartial and independent of your friends and family.

If recent research is to be believed, loneliness is killing the elderly and, with an ageing population, we should aim to reduce our isolation before it is too late. “Getting older doesn’t have to mean getting lonelier,” says Ruth Sutherland, the chief executive of Relate, in a new report. “But much of this rests on laying the foundations to good-quality relationships earlier in life.”

 

 

 

 

Are you a Fearless Femme?

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A new grassroots movement to challenge sexism, reduce mental health stigma, and save the lives of young women across the world has kicked off in Scotland.

Young women are the highest-risk group for mental illness in the UK. Research estimates 46% of young women between 11 and 21 years old have sought out treatment for mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

Research has shown that psychological distress amongst young women is linked to the growing pressures that this group faces: pressures to look beautiful and thin in an age of ‘airbrushing’; social media pressures; stress at school and university; and an increase in sexual harassment. Very often, these pressures lead to low self-esteem and body image problems, with evidence suggesting that young girls start to worry about their body image from the age of 11.

Existing magazines targeting young women can compound these problems with picture perfect models gracing every page. Fearless Femme sets about challenging these cultural norms by empowering young women to overcome stress and other mental health challenges through its new online magazine and growing community of ‘rebelles’, as well as its research and campaigns for policy change.

Want to know more? Fearless Femme can be found at https://www.fearlessfemme.co.uk/our-story/

YOYP 2018

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Year of Young People 2018 is an opportunity for generations to come together and celebrate our nation’s young people.

It is a platform for our young people (8 to 26). It will give them a stronger voice on issues which affect their lives, showcase their ideas and talents, and ultimately, aim to challenge status quo and create a more positive perception of them in society.

Young people’s voices have been at the heart of the Year, since planning started in 2015. After leading an in-depth consultation with hundreds of their peers, they made recommendations on what the top priorities and goals should be.

To take forward these ideas, a group of 35 young people, Communic18, was created. Their role is to influence how the Year will be run, while ensuring young people’s voices are heard and acted upon. In addition, there are more than 500 Ambassadors, who are promoting local activities and creating opportunities in their communities to challenge negative stereotypes of young people.

Activity for the Year is based around six key themes, which were developed by young people and will guide everything done:

Culture

Share and celebrate young people’s talent and contribution to Scottish culture and arts.

Education

Allow young people to have more say in their education and learning.

Enterprise and regeneration

Celebrate young people’s role in innovation, entrepreneurship and the Scottish economy as well as making Scotland a greener and more pleasant place to live.

Equality and discrimination

Recognise the positive impact of young people in Scotland and encourage them to take the lead in challenging all forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Health and wellbeing

Make sure young people have the chance to lead healthy, active lives and understand the importance of mental health and resilience.

Participation

Give young people the chance to influence decisions that affect their lives

 

Over the next few weeks K & M Communities will look at issues affecting young people today, we hope you enjoy.

Want to get involved or know more, visit http://yoyp2018.scot/

 

Linking Generations

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Connections between generations are proven to enrich the lives of both young and seniors in long-lasting and meaningful ways.

When young people find ways to engage and develop relationships with the elderly, these experiences can build self-esteem, develop leadership skills, and encourage a lifelong commitment to volunteering.

For seniors, intergenerational connections provide the opportunity to transfer knowledge and wisdom, acknowledge self-worth, and feel they are contributing members of society.

In today’s world, many young people are experiencing less interaction with seniors because of homogenous neighborhoods, dispersed extended families, and increasing segregation of seniors living in care facilities or in isolation

Some of the benefits of intergenerational work include:

  • Creation of age friendly communities.
  • All generations have a lot to both teach and learn from each other and contribute to lifelong learning.
  • Tackles issues around stereotyping and ageism.
  • Increases understanding and respect between older people and younger people.
  • Chance to make new friends and combats social isolation.

 

Mental Muscle

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Mentally strong kids turn into resilient adults who are equipped to tackle whatever life throws their way. Challenges, hardship, and setbacks are inevitable. Teaching kids to build mental muscle can make them resilient. It’s also the key to helping them reach their greatest potential in life.

Here’s three things you can do to help equip your kids for the future.

  • Teach your kids to think realistically

Children need to develop healthy self-talk. Simply thinking positive isn’t the solution, this doesn’t prepare children for real-life challenges. A child who can reframe negative thinking by coming up with a solution is more resilient. For example, instead of saying I’m going to fail that physics test, a resilient child will tell herself I can pass this test by

Teach children to challenge their negative thoughts and prove themselves wrong.studying hard and asking for help.

  • Teach your kids to manage their emotions

A national university students found that more than 60 percent of young people don’t feel emotionally prepared for the realities of life. They lack the skills to deal with uncomfortable emotions, like loneliness, sadness, and anxiety.

It’s important to educate kids about their emotions and how those emotions influence them. A child who can say, “I’m feeling anxious and that anxiety makes me want to avoid scary things,” will be better equipped to face his fears. He’ll also have a better understanding of how to cope with his emotions and he’ll have more confidence in his ability to handle discomfort. Validate your children’s emotions and teach them they have choices in how they deal with their feelings.

  • Teach your kids to take positive action

Thinking realistically and feeling good are only half the battle. Kids also need to take positive action. Unfortunately, many parents are quick to rescue kids from their struggles. Or they micromanage their daily activities. And consequently, kids don’t learn to make healthy choices on their own.

Proactively teach your kids problem-solving skills. Show them they have the power to make a difference in their lives and in other people’s lives.

Flex your mental muscles, it’s worth it.