Social Media & Mental Health

Resources for therapists, teachers, student support staff, universities, parents, community workers, and more.

Gay Men & Blog
4 min readFeb 6, 2023
Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

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Social media use has become a daily and habitual activity for people of all ages. While there are appealing and even positive aspects to social media apps, their priority is to get as many users as possible and keep them engaged for long periods of time. This can have real mental health and behavioral impacts on users, including teenagers and children.

I’m a mental health therapist who currently works with college students and I was a K-12 school social worker for 10 years. Based on my experience, I know the impact and disruption chronic social media use can have on a person, classrooms, schools, families, and beyond. This is why I’ve created two resources that I’m making available free to use by therapists, teachers, school staff, universities, parents/caregivers, community workers, and anyone who wants to help others and themselves regain control of their life and mental health from social media.

This article contains information and a link to a slideshow presentation on social media and mental health that can be downloaded and adapted to meet the needs of your counseling practice, school, university, community center, family, etc. An accompanying self-assessment tool can help clients, students, community members, your children, and you gain awareness around social media use, set intentions, and create change.

Social Media & Mental Health Slideshow

The slideshow presentation consists of three sections and a fourth optional section where services and resources can be added by the professional or institution adapting it for their use. Below are the three sections:

  1. Creating Self-Awareness Around Our Social Media Use
  2. The Effects of Social Media on Our Mental Health and Well-Being
  3. Strategies to Regain Control from Social Media

The slideshow can be accessed and downloaded from this link. Some slides from the presentation are included below.

Assessment Tool with Strategies for Change

This tool can accompany the slideshow presentation for participant use, one-on-one with clients, students, children, etc., or for yourself. The tool has four sections:

  1. Increasing Awareness
  2. Assessing the Impact of Social Media Use
  3. Understanding Social Media
  4. Strategies for Change

The PDF version of the assessment tool can be accessed and downloaded from here. Below is a preview of the first section of the tool.

Assessing Social Media Use and Strategies for Change

High social media use can negatively impact mental health and behavior, which can lead to diminished productivity and academic challenges. This tool aims to help social media users increase self-awareness and offers strategies to change social media and technology use.

Section I: Increasing Awareness

1) How many hours have you spent on social media this week? (Phone features like Screen Time on the iPhone provide hours spent on social media apps by week.)

2) Was this amount of time intentional on your part?

3) When do you usually get on social media? (Ex.: as soon as you wake up, while eating, right before bed, etc.)

4) Why do you usually get on social media?

  • Boredom
  • Loneliness
  • News, current events
  • Distraction
  • Flirting, sexual outlet
  • Social activism
  • Mental, emotional break
  • To see what friends/people you follow have posted
  • Interact, chat with people
  • Look up celebrities, influencers, brands, businesses, etc.
  • Other:

5) Why did you join the various social media platforms that you’re on and what keeps you on?

Please use and share this article and these resources freely. My hope is that it helps people regain control of their life and well-being by creating protective boundaries and intentions around their social media use.

For questions, comments, and/or feedback regarding these resources, please fill out this form.

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Gay Men & Blog

Writer of Gay Men & Blog — a blog dedicated to empowering gay men to heal, grow, and live a life of love and fulfillment.