Liz Smith MSP calls for Scottish Government response to social media mental health challenge

Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith has asked the Scottish Government how it is proposing to deal with the negative effects of social media on young people.


Liz Smith, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, raised the matter today (Thursday) at First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament.


This followed recent studies which underline the potential link between young people suffering mental health problems after using social media.


Commenting, Liz Smith said: “This is a very serious issue which is exactly why it has concentrated the minds of parliamentary committees at both Holyrood and Westminster.


“We know that, in the recent survey undertaken by the Prince’s Trust, that 60% of all 16 to 25-year-olds think social media creates ‘overwhelming pressure’ on young people and we know from the Audit Committee report at Holyrood that there has been a 22% increase in mental health referrals for young people in the last five years.


“Both of these statistics are a matter of grave concern and that is why I took the opportunity in First Minister’s Questions to ask Nicola Sturgeon to outline the details about how the Scottish Government will respond to the recommendations in the parliamentary reports.”


Liz Smith added: “Whilst some young people are willing to come forward to discuss their concerns, many are not for very understandable reasons. As parliamentarians we have a duty of care to protect vulnerable users and so I hope the First Minister will show real commitment and determination when it comes to addressing this issue.


“The First Minister was helpful in her answers to my question and I look forward to receiving the details of the Scottish Government’s delivery plan on the matter.”



Liz Smith MSP submitted the following question today at First Minister’s Questions: ‘To ask the First Minister, in light of the parliamentary reports by both MSPs and MPs, what the Scottish Government’s response is to growing concerns about the effects of social media on the mental health of young people across Scotland.’