Social Media and Serious Mental Illness: The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown

Social media is commonly used by billions of people around the world, including those with serious mental illnesses. While some evidence suggests that social media use may be associated with negative outcomes like worsening mood and anxiety, other evidence claims it can help patients build stronger social networks and feel less isolated. This activity explores current evidence around social media and serious mental illness with the goal of providing practical tips to tell patients about use, warning signs of excessive use, and resources for helping patients who want to cut down their use. Positive use cases and support groups are also covered.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe to patients how to self assess their personal social media use and be able to explain at least three common risks and benefits related to mental health in using social media.
  • Identify at least two warning signs of excessive social media use that may be associated with negative impact on mental health
  • Recognize and know when to apply at least three different treatment strategies to help patients reduce social media use in a safe manner.