Resilience for the Digital World

Our research into children and young people’s social and emotional wellbeing online.

Young people need to be able to respond positively and deal with risks they encounter online - the focus shouldn't just be on protecting them from risky content.

We worked with Ecorys, a research and consultation company, to better understand the impact of the digital world on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Our evidence review brings together a range of insights from research and expertise in the field.

Our recommendations

We are calling for a new approach to ensure that the online world does not damage young people’s mental health. With more focus to given to building young people’s digital resilience.

  • Every school should think through and take action on how they help children develop digital resilience and embed this in their Ofsted-inspected E-safety curriculum.
  • Young people should have engaging, accessible and age-appropriate information about mental health on the sites and apps that they use, so they can help themselves and each other if they are struggling. 
  • Industry needs to take on their responsibilities to support young people who may be struggling with the effects of social media addiction - for example, by providing pop-ups signposting to resources and support.
  • Teachers, social workers and professionals working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services should be skilled up to understand young people’s experience of the online world and how to help them to build their digital resilience.
Our research shows that children and young people understand the online world a lot better than most adults, they are active creators of content, and are discerning when it comes to navigating social media. They’re more likely to listen to other young people, including older siblings, than adults warning them about the dangers of the online world
Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds

Find out more

To explore the issues and our recommendations:

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