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Mental Health – Surgeon General Advocates Social Media Warning Labels

India-West News Desk


On June 17, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy urged Congress to require social media platforms to display warning labels highlighting the potential mental health risks these platforms pose to teenagers.

Dr. Murthy’s call for legislative action comes as awareness grows about the dangers of social media for young people, with platforms facing lawsuits for their roles in the youth mental health crisis and making attempts to mitigate some harm.

In a New York Times op-ed, Murthy emphasized the urgency of the situation.

“The mental health crisis among young people is an emergency — and social media has emerged as an important contributor,” he wrote.

Murthy suggested that warning labels, similar to those on tobacco products, could raise awareness and influence behavior change.

Citing statistics, Murthy noted that teens who spend more than three hours daily on social media are at an increased risk of anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, almost half of teens reported that these platforms negatively affect their self-image.

“We have the expertise, resources, and tools to make social media safe for our kids. Now is the time to summon the will to act,” Murthy stated.

As Surgeon General, Murthy has prioritized addressing America’s mental health crisis, particularly focusing on the impact of social media on adolescents.

Last year, he issued a public health advisory detailing the harms of social media to young people and recommended new safeguards for policymakers, platforms, and parents to implement.

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