Malicious social media posts can be emotionally damaging: Prof Healey

Fiji National University vice-chancellor Professor Nigel Healey (second from left) at the World Mental Health Day event at the FNU College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science in Suva today. Picture: JESSICA SAVIKE

IN SCHOOLS, people post toxic things on social media and share it.

And even if you are not on Facebook, somebody will show it to you.

These were the remarks by Fiji National University vice-chancellor Professor Nigel Healey at the World Mental Health Day event at the FNU College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science today.

Prof Healey said people used to say that during their school days, they were the happiest in their lives – yet today bullying on social media could make students’ lives unhappy.

He said malicious post on Facebook and the showing of embracing videos and pictures of young people could be emotionally damaging for young people.

Prof Healey said students also felt the pressure to compete in order to get top grades in school, which caused common anxiety among them.

“We don’t realise the grown level of mental health problems until people start to self-harm themselves, particularly with cutting and scratching,” he said.

Prof Healey noted that one in every 10 teenagers was suffering from some form of mental health illness.

He said suicide was the second leading cause of death with depression being a major issue.

“People need to realise that life is increasingly stressful in ways it wasn’t in their generation,” he said, adding that prevention began with understanding the signs and symptoms of mental illness.

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