Mental health first aid lift for ScotRail staff

BODY SHAME More than one in seven Scots felt suicidal over their figure

We are also urging the SNP Government to invest in better mental health care as new figures show that three in 10 young people are being forced to wait too long for treatment.

And as the initiative sweeps social media, encouraging people to share their own mental health struggles and stories, Dr Helen Driscoll, Principal Lecturer in Psychology and Evolutionary Psychologist at Sunderland University, discussed how the media's portrayal of body image can impact a person's mental health and wellbeing, as well as the other factors that could be at play.

The survey found that body image issues affected more women than men.

Women were more badly affected than men, with 11 per cent of Scots women admitting they had "deliberately hurt themselves" due to their body image.

Julie Cameron, head of programmes at MHF Scotland, said: "The theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week is body image and our research published this week highlights the huge impact that negative body image can have on the mental health of both adults and young people". One in five of all United Kingdom adults and 46% of 18-24-year-olds said images on social media had caused them to worry about their body image. For some people this is potentially very severe, with large numbers of people saying they have self-harmed or had suicidal thoughts and feelings.

Dr Driscoll said: "People think body image ideals come from the media because of the way they portray a certain type of shape".

"This social harm has been allowed to develop largely unchecked".

"This could be enforced by the proposed new independent regulator, which is already part of the government proposals".

Paul Browett, 35, of Glasgow, said social media, TV and celebrities had helped to fuel his insecurities.

"We particularly welcome the commitment to addressing the impact of social media on body image". If they only show one body size then this becomes a social norm, which is risky.

Ms Torr added: "We are now more focused than ever on providing support for those who need it and working hard to end the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health".

More than half said that celebrities and "influencers" sharing more realistic images of themselves would encourage people to post content that more accurately reflects what they look like in real life, it found. YMCA England and Wales chief executive Denise Hatton said social media presents "a multitude of dangers" for young people.

"We recognise the link of unhealthy use of social media and lower mental wellbeing which is why we've committed to publishing advice on healthy social media use and I would see that both these pieces of work would link in together".



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