Mental Health Campaigner "Sceptical" Of Social Media 'Safe Limits'

30 September 2018, 08:20

A mental health campaigner tells Andrew Castle why she's sceptical of the idea of 'safe time limits' for social media use.

The Health Secretary has asked the UK's chief medical officer to prepare official guidance on safe time limits for social media.

Matt Hancock said that he was "very worried" as a father of three by 'growing evidence' of the detrimental effect on the health of young people.

But a mental health campaigner has said that she is "sceptical" about such proposals, suggesting that the government is absolving itself of responsibility of young people's mental health.

Speaking to Andrew Castle, Natasha Devon said: "Some guidelines would be helpful, but it's a huge leap to blame social media for poor mental health in young people.

"I think it's a bit rich considering we've had £80million cuts to children and adolescent mental health services to point the finger at something over which they don't really have any jurisdiction."

Social media
Social media. Picture: PA

Some social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram, have introduced a minimum age of 13 for all users, and 16-years-old for WhatsApp, but Mr Hancock said "they do nothing to police it".

"As a parent you want to be able to say, 'the rules say you shouldn't use social media for more than a certain period of time'.

"This is why we have a chief medical officer: to set a norm in society, make judgements on behalf of society, so that individual schools or individual parents don't have to decide."