Last year, RSPH launched our first Scroll Free September campaign – the world’s first large-scale campaign aimed at encouraging people to have a healthier and more meaningful relationship with social media. The campaign was a huge success, with an estimated 300,000 people taking part internationally and significant traction from the world’s press.
Building on the research undertaken for the RSPH Status of Mind and New Filters reports, RSPH is developing a free, open access e-learning Looking after your self-ie: A guide to finding your balance on and offline which will launch in October 2019.
The programme aims to reintroduce participants of Scroll Free September, and the wider public, to social media in a healthy way. The programme will focus on awareness-raising; encouraging meaningful use by educating users on the potential harms and benefits of social media.
Divided into five main sections, the resource will cover:
- Loneliness and relationships
- Self-image and self-esteem
- Resources and signposting
The programme will explore the above issues exclusively within the context of their relationships to social media, and include information relevant to members of the public of all ages.
We have worked with a number of subject-matter experts in developing this e-learning programme. Thank you to the content reviewers listed below for their contributions.
Dr Anna Weighall, Researcher in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology, University of Sheffield
Dr Anna Weighall is a developmental psychologist investigating the relationships between sleep, memory, learning and cognitive development; and the consequences of poor sleep for academic outcomes, daytime functioning, mental health and wellbeing. Anna also serves on the executive committee of the the British Sleep Society.
The Children’s Sleep Charity is a national, award-winning charity supporting children with sleep issues. The charity provide support for families and accredited training for professionals and commercial organisations.
2. Loneliness and relationships
Dr Rebecca Nowland, Research Fellow, University of Central Lancashire
Dr Rebecca Nowland is a Research Fellow working in the Child and Family Health Research Group within the School of Nursing. Her current research centres on Child and Adolescent Mental Health, with a particular interest in the influence of peer relationships and loneliness on physical and mental health and social cognition. Rebecca had an article published on The Conversation in October 2018 entitled ‘Social media: is it really to blame for young people being lonelier than any other age group?’
3. Self-image and Self-esteem
Dr Philippa Diedrichs, Research psychologist, University of the West of England
Dr Philippa Diedrichs is a research psychologist with an international reputation for creating and using evidence-based strategies to improve body image in community, education, corporate, and policy settings. At the Centre for Appearance Research, she leads a team of researchers investigating psychological and social influences on body image, and the development and evaluation of online and face-to-face body image interventions, advocacy efforts, and campaigns.
Dr Anke Görzig, Senior lecturer in Psychology, University of West London
Dr Anke Görzig is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of West London and member of the EU Kids Online network’s UK team at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Anke’s research interests focus around children's risks and opportunities on the internet with an emphasis on cyberbullying and disadvantaged groups as well as cross-national comparisons. She is co-editor of Children, Risk and Safety on the Internet (2012, Policy Press) and has authored as well as co-authored several peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and reports.
Paul Hanmore, Anti-Bullying Training Manager, The Diana Award
Paul is the Anti-Bullying Training Manager for The Diana Award. For over 6 years he has delivered training events UK wide and internationally, involving young people and staff in building Anti-Bullying campaigns for their schools. He now leads a designated team to engage more schools and youth organisations in anti-bullying work. He has a background in Key Stage 2 teaching, Mental Health early intervention work, Youth Justice supervision and support work for LGBT+ young people.