Co-created over the last year by the Scottish Youth Parliament and Children’s Parliament with the support of over 650 children and young people across the country, the new ‘Mind Yer Time’ resource will support mental and physical health online.
The project, originally commissioned prior to the covid-19 outbreak by the Scottish Government, will see Scotland will become the first country in the world to develop a resource to promote healthy consumption of screens and social media.
With the resource now set to launch during a time when young Scots aged 8-25 are spending an unprecedented amount of time online, the Scottish Youth Parliament and Children’s Parliament hope to provide vital support during this challenging period at MindYerTime.scot.
The resource explores hard hitting issues such as online bullying, body image and reducing time wasted online while signposting official NHS and Government approved advice and support services. It features content of young people sharing their experiences of social media and top tips from children and young people to make the most of your time online.
Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey MSP, said: “I can’t think of a better time than now, when we are all adjusting to a new way of life and spending more time online, for this advice to publish.
“As we know, social media does have the potential to be used in a hugely positive way, but we want to ensure young people are properly informed on how social media promotes unrealistic expectations and what the healthy use of social media platforms looks like.
“We are also considering what further support is necessary for children and young people who may be experiencing stress, worry and anxiety around the pandemic.
“The Scottish Youth Parliament and the Children’s Parliament should be very proud of this world-leading work, and we hope it is widely used across Scotland, both during the pandemic and beyond.”
Jack Dudgeon, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said: “Like all of us, young people in Edinburgh are adapting to physical distancing by spending more time online.
“Online tech is playing a vital role in reducing isolation during the coronavirus outbreak but at times it can be overwhelming, and research shows unhealthy amounts of screen time have a negative impact on our mental and physical health. We’re proud to be helping young people by launching the Mind Yer Time resource, so they can flourish online and off-line.”
The Children’s Parliament supported the co-creation of the resource by working with children from three schools – Banchory Primary School in Alloa, Thorntree Primary School in Glasgow and Kingussie Primary School.
The pupils explore their views on social media and solutions to promote healthy screen use.
Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director of the Children’s Parliament, said: “At a time when many children will be using screens and social media more than ever, having a resource that provides them with lots of useful information, as well as opportunities to play and to participate in the wider world, is incredibly important.
“Children's Parliament is aware of the risks associated with screen and social media use; however, we are clear that the digital environment also offers extraordinary opportunities for promoting and protecting children's health and wellbeing, particularly at a time like this."