Social media firms must share burden of mental health

Simon Stevens has warned that social media firms should share the burden with the NHS as it battles mental health issues in young people.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation’s annual Confed conference, NHS England’s chief executive spoke of the ‘double epidemic affecting our children’ of mental health and obesity.

Stevens said: “It is obvious that there is more unmet need for young people’s mental health services than probably any other part of the health service. The conversation, though, around young people’s mental health has got to be wider than just about what the NHS can do.

“This is certainly about schools, but we also have to ask some pretty searching questions around the role of technology companies, social media, and the impact that that is having on childhood. So, this cannot be a conversation that is simply left to the National Health Service to pick up the pieces – for an epidemic of mental health challenge for our young people induced by many other actors across our economy.”

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