Website for youngsters expanded to tackle pressures caused by pandemic

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A website set up by the Scottish Youth Parliament has been expanded to help young people cope with the pressures of the Covid pandemic.

The Scottish Youth Parliament and the Children’s Parliament joined forces to set up the Mind Yer Time resource last year, helping children and young people learn about healthy use of screens and social media.

More than 650 Scots aged between eight and 25 have since helped with work to expand the website, and it now includes content on home learning, dealing with screen time guilt and navigating video chats.


Mental wellbeing minister Kevin Stewart praised the initiative, describing it as a great way to ensure youngsters are getting the “support they need to tackle stresses and challenges faced online”.

Mind Yer Time has been developed with interactive content that mirrors popular online apps and websites, such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

It also includes sections aimed at helping young people deal with issues such as body image, anxiety and online bullying.

Aaran McDonald, a member of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “Young people all over the world have spent a huge amount of time online during lockdown and that’s having a longer-term impact on their mental and physical health.

“We’re dedicated to providing a resource than can empower young people to embrace opportunities, make friends and educate themselves about healthy social media use.”

Cathy McCulloch, co-director of the Children’s Parliament, said: “With many children spending much of their time online over the last year, a resource like Mind Yer Time is more important than ever.

“The Children’s Parliament is dedicated to helping safeguard the wellbeing of children online and help ensure they have the tools they need for healthy screen time.”

Child on laptop
Many children have been spending more time online during lockdown (PA)

Mr Stewart said: “With the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on everyone’s lives this year, it is important that we are paying attention to our children and young people’s health and wellbeing.

“Expanding and developing Mind Yer Time with vital insights from the country’s children and young people is a great way to ensure we are equipping them with the support they need to tackle stresses and challenges faced online.

“This is particularly important for children and young people who are experiencing increased stress and anxiety or those who have seen their screen time surge during lockdown.

“It is fantastic to see children and young people sharing their own stories and advice through the resource to help one another.

“The Scottish Youth Parliament and Children’s Parliament should be immensely proud of the world-leading resource they have pioneered.”

Do you think your child needs help with their online habits? Leave a comment down below!

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