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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Mental health concerns grow over social media impact on youth

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023   

Health professionals have raised alarms about social media and its impact on young people's mental health.

Concern has grown so great that earlier this year Seattle Public Schools filed a lawsuit against social media giants like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube - alleging the companies were creating a "youth mental health crisis."

Dr. Yolanda Evans is an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. She said social media has positives, like connecting young people with their friends.

However, Evans also noted that the algorithms these platforms use can exacerbate mental health issues for kids.

"My patients have been exposed to things on social media like self harm or imagery that really was disturbing," said Evans, "and it's hard to stop it or block it."

School districts around the country have joined the lawsuit against social media companies.

In May, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory saying social media poses "a risk of harm to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents."

Evans said parents can play a role in reducing the harms of social media.

"We as adults can also help our kids learn how to be more savvy consumers of things," said Evans, "and teach them what's a reputable source? Why would you trust that content versus other content? What is it that the person's saying or doing that might be false?"

Evans added that the effort to rein in social media's impacts must extend beyond parents.

"All of us need to be involved," said Evans. "The companies for sure need more in terms of regulation and changes with the algorithms and, as adults, also helping kids learn how do we use this for something that can be helpful?"




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