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Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley, in partnership with LewisGale Medical Center, is proud to host our annual KidsFirst Symposium – Snaps, Instas, and Tweets: Social Media and Cyberbullies.

Social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram have had a rapid development over the past several years. Facebook alone has more than one billion active users. Yet, social media connection for our youth and adolescents can have consequences. Researchers have associated online social networking with several psychiatric disorders, including depressive symptoms, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Dr, Donna Wick has found that children will text things that they may not state in person-to-person interactions. Social media and its distance from person-to-person interactions can increase issues when it comes to peer acceptance and can increase bullying through online platforms. Social media platforms can also increase unrealistic standards for youth and adolescents, and the pressure to appear perfect can be detrimental to their mental health and wellbeing.

Join us as we discuss these issues and more with two experts.Dr. Norah Silver, M.D. of Carilion Clinic is a child and adolescent psychiatrist will discuss the science of social media including the effects of addiction on adolescent psychological development. Nancy Hans serves as the Executive DIrector of the Prevention Council of Roanoke Valley. Ms. Hans is a local expert on youth prevention including social media and will discuss how social media can practically effect youth and potentially lead to risky behaviors that can continue to decrease mental wellbeing.