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Social media firms should offer free mental health adverts

Social media firms should consider carrying free adverts for mental health charities to target help towards youngsters across Scotland, an MSP has said.

In a letter to both Facebook and Twitter, Scottish Conservative mental health spokesman Miles Briggs said the gesture – which would cost the firms nothing – could have a positive impact on mental health.

One of the main problems in addressing psychological issues in children and teenagers is a lack of awareness about where to turn to for help.

And given youngsters get so much information from the internet, Mr Briggs added, it would make sense for social media feeds to help out.

All political parties made mental health a priority in their 2016 Holyrood manifestos, with the Scottish Conservatives calling for it to have parity of esteem with physical health.

Scottish Conservative mental health spokesman Miles Briggs said:

“Social media companies have an important role to play in helping young people access mental health information and services.

“Both Facebook and Twitter take seriously the wellbeing of their users.

“Given the opportunities that exist for geographical and age-specific advertising, I am asking these companies if they will offer free advertising of mental health information and services for children and young people as part of their corporate social responsibility.

“Raising awareness of mental health information and services is really important as early access to these services can make all the difference.”

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