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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Rep. Mazzochi to host mental health panel on social media's impact on teens


By Glenn Minnis | Nov 10, 2019

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Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst)

Illinois state Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) is set to host a Teens, Social Media and Mental Health Panel on Nov. 18 at the Westmont Public Library.

Commencing at 6:30 p.m., the hour-long event is being billed as an opportunity to learn more about the links between social media and mental health for teens and young adults. 

“I think state data has come out that has pointed to a trend toward anxiety and other mental health issues among teens that have been increasing from ties to social media,” Mazzochi told the DuPage Policy Journal. “It’s something parents in my district are concerned about. Like any tool, social media can be put to good or unhealthful use, and the more information parents have for making sure it’s constructive, the better off it can be.”

The panel discussion will feature experts from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

“This goes beyond just my district,” said Mazzochi. “Influencing impressionable young minds for bad habits is not good.”

According to Mazzochi, recent studies have shown more than four out of every five teenagers or young adults regularly use social media with the long-term effects of such exposure still largely unknown.

“Young people are lacking developmental skills as well as the ability to effectively communicate,” NAMI's Dr. Robin Boggs Choquette said in a press release. “Most troubling is the ability to come to healthy conflict resolution. The overuse of social media is impacting young people’s self-confidence as well as their body-image expectations. When it comes to body image, the ‘perfection expectation’ is negatively impacting mental health, even though it is not reality-based.”

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Illinois State Representative Deanne M. Mazzochi

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