Mental health: Is social media causing people to commit suicide?

Recent studies has shown a rise in suicides of people between the ages of 16-24 and many are blaming social media as the main cause.

Research has shown an increase in suicides of young adults aged between 16-24 , many people blame social media as the influence it has on young adults to want to be perceived as something their not and when they are incapable of keeping up this appearance it leads to mental health problems.

For example, Molly Russell  died in her teens after she was discovered  in her bedroom and pronounced dead at the scene in November 2017. 

Mr Russell said that there were :”no obvious signs” of severe mental health issues.  Molly’s father also told the BBC: “Some of the content on social media is shocking and that it encourages self harm, it links self-harm to suicide and I have no doubt that Instagram helped kill my daughter.”

Molly, came from a loving family as we could see, she was an enthusiastic child and doing incredibly well at school: she loved sailing and it was said she was an excellent horse rider. Molly had also been nominated for a lead role in her school’s play of ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’.

There have been many examples of how social media influences young people and how it changes their behaviour.  For example ‘Kylie Jenner’ plump lip challenge #kyliejennerchallenge, which sparked some controversy within the social media world.

Kylie Jenner: plump lip challenge

  Video Credits: DiTiTiD

However, people that are known to suffer with mental health often keep quiet about it and are not outspoken. This does not benefit them in anyway as they should be speaking to people to combat the damage being done.

We asked a circle of people:

Do you think social media has an impact on people’s mental health?

Claudia says: ” Yes social media has negative impact on society, were alcohol abuse and gambling may play be big part of suicide.       This includes fashion brands latest phones.  Results to crime drugs also this could includes eating disorders and following celebrities to be slim  which can have devastating effect on your mental health”.

Shaunna says:  “Yes social media has negative impact on people’s mental health; if look at the statics for depression especially in teens and body dysmorphia is high right now due to people comparing their selves to stranger online”

Laverne says: “People feel compelled to conform to what social media requires and promotes as healthy or normal Some users no longer express true emotions and replace these feelings with mainstream manufactured emojis Once we rely on the media to dictate how we feel we no longer feel unique and that’s damaging”

Laverne audio

Many initiatives are being taken to combat mental health issues surrounding social media,as there are various websites that give information regarding what you can do too feel better and to get a healthier life without the addiction of social media. Sites such as the ‘Mental Health Foundation’ are a great place to start.

If any one is touched by this story, we encourage you to contact Samaritans.


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