James Donaldson notes:
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of depression and suicidal thoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
‘The danger is that we are presiding over a suicidal generation of young people’
Suicide rates among teenagers have almost doubled in eight years, figures have shown.
Provisional data compiled in 2018 by the Office for National Statistics shows the suicide rate in children and young people aged 15-19 has increased, while it dropped in older age groups.
The numbers indicate a growing concern about the impact social media is having on young people, The Sunday Times has reported. Recent studies have suggested British children are some of the unhappiest in the world – and social media is playing a part.
‘Teenage suicide is on the rise’ Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, will this week say technology giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat should allow a new regulator to monitor material and remove the worst of it in order to better protect vulnerable people. She will say the companies have a “duty of care” to users, and that there is a link between teenage suicide and self-harm and spending long periods on social media apps, The Sunday Times said.
The ONS full figures are set to be published in September. They will reveal suicides are at more than five in 100,000 teenagers in England, up from just over three in 100,000 in 2010. Instagram is one of the social media companies being ordered to take action [Getty Images] Professor Louis Appleby, head of the national suicide prevention strategy, said: “Teenage suicide is on the rise… The danger is that we are presiding over a suicidal generation of young people and that young people have learnt self-harm as a way of coping.”
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said social media companies have a “moral duty” to act and pilot schemes to support mental health in school children will be launched. Last week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged social media giants to “purge” content about suicide and self-harm to protect their young users. Molly Russell i reported that Mr Hancock wrote to firms, including Facebook and Twitter, to tell them they should take urgent action following the death of teenager Molly Russell. Molly, 14, was found dead in her bedroom in November 2017 after showing “no obvious signs”” of severe mental health issues. Her family later found she had been viewing material on social media linked to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide. Her father, Ian, said Instagram “helped kill my daughter”.
In September last year, official guidelines for social media use were set to be drawn up as health experts realised just how significant an impact social media was having on child mental health.