Social media use – Ask the Expert (recording)

Matt Kempen
Marketing Manager for ACAMH

Posted on

For this session we welcomed Dr. Lizzy Winstone to share her knowledge and insights into some of the implications of social media use amongst young people. Lizzy is a Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology at the University of Bristol with expertise in young people’s mental health and wellbeing, social media, social connectedness and public mental health.

ACAMH Members can receive a CPD certificate, simply email and let us know the date and time that you watched the recording.

Slides from the session

About the event

Social media has become a mainstay in our modern lives, but it is still a relatively recent phenomenon and is evolving at pace. The emerging evidence base concerning its benefits and consequences is mixed and highly nuanced, which may well contribute to the formation of myths and moral panic often conveyed in the media.

This session aims introduce some of the big debates in the field of social media effects amongst young people and to unravel some of its complexities in relation to digital stress and mental wellbeing. Using the Education for a Connected World framework to ground the discussion, this session will provide an overview of the evidence-base in relation to the pertinent strands of the framework in relation to child & adolescent mental health.

By having a better understanding of the nuanced nature of social media use, teachers will be better equipped to support and guide young people in making healthy choices around their on-line interactions.

Key Takeaways

  • Have a greater appreciation of the context & debates around young people’s social media use
  • Take a deep dive into the relevant strands of the Education for a Connected World associated with digital stress and mental wellbeing
  • Highlight some groups of young people who may be particularly vulnerable to risks attached to social media use

About the ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions

This FREE ‘Ask the Expert’ online event is exclusively for teachers and education professionals, and offers insights into the latest evidence-base around anxiety in children & adolescents. They are brought to you as part of an exciting new partnership between The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) and Coram Life Education (CLE), two charities who are dedicated to making a difference to the mental wellbeing of children and young people.

Following our pilot events in Autumn 2021 / Spring 2022, we have a series of ‘Ask the Expert’ events over the coming year, to help close the knowledge gap in a range of topics that now form part of the statutory Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) curriculum. We think it is important to help equip teachers with knowledge in areas that may be less familiar to them, which is grounded in academic rigour.

Our ‘Ask the Expert’ sessions are primarily aimed at knowledge building, we will be working on other initiatives to help evolve pedagogical approaches based on the evidence we share at these ‘Ask the Expert’ events.


ACAMH video abstracts

ACAMH Podcast

ACAMH talks

ACAMH Research Digests. A selection of our journal papers in easy to digest 2 minute reads;

Papers with contributions from Lizzy Winstone;

Other FREE Events for teachers can be found at our Teacher Hub. This brings together the resources on our website that is most relevant, and useful, for teachers to use.

About the Speakers

Lizzy Winstone
Lizzy Winstone

My mixed methods research focuses on how young people engage with their peers, family and the wider public through social media, and whether this is determined by, or has an impact on their mental health. I am exploring whether it is ‘healthier’ (in terms of self-harm, depression, anxiety and well-being) to use social media passively compared to using it for communicating with friends or to share content and express one’s identity. I am also focusing on how social media use more generally predicts how connected young people feel to their peers, family and school.

Before starting my PhD I worked for several years as a survey methodologist for the European Social Survey, a cross-sectional general attitudes survey conducted every two years in more than 20 countries. Based at City University London, I specialised in questionnaire design, (cross-national) equivalence, survey non-response and survey project management. I have also previously worked in local authority public health teams as a data analyst, researcher and strategist, specialising in Joint Strategic Needs Assessments of local populations. (Bio and Image from University of Bristol)


Coram Life Education

Coram Life Education is the leading provider of relationships, health, wellbeing, and drugs education to almost half a million children across the UK, delivered under the strapline ‘Helping Children Make Healthy Choices’. Trained Educators use evidence-based, interactive, creative methods and resources to stimulate curiosity and imagination amongst children in 1 in 10 English and Scottish primary schools (2,041 schools).

Our memorable life skills sessions are currently delivered as ‘Life Base’ in school or as ‘SCARF Live Online‘ sessions via Zoom. Coram Life Education takes a three strand approach addressing children’s knowledge, skills and attitudes, and programmes are aligned with the National Curriculum (Citizenship, PSHE Education), covering all Key Stages. Coram Life Education helps schools meet their statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education, children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development, and Ofsted inspection criteria for personal development, behaviour and welfare. Coram Life Education’s programmes are also aligned with Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. Recognising the role of the community and home life in influencing children’s choices, we design our programme with schools and deliver special sessions and assemblies for parents and carers to amplify our effectiveness.

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