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Social media linked to higher risk of depression in teen girls

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, January 5th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: A gallery assistant poses for a photograph during a press day to promote the upcoming exhibition ‘From Selfie to Self-Expression’ at the Saatchi Gallery in London, Britain March 30, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) – Teenage girls are twice as likely as boys to show depressive symptoms linked to social media use – mainly due to online harassment and disturbed sleep, as well as poor body image and lower self-esteem, researchers said on Friday.

In a study analyzing data from nearly 11,000 young people in Britain, researchers found that 14-year-old girls were heavier users of social media, with two-fifths of them using it for more than three hours a day, compared with a fifth of boys.

The study also found that 12 percent of light social media users and 38 percent of heavy social media users (five-plus hours a day) showed signs of having more severe depression.

When the researchers looked at underlying processes that might be linked with social media use and depression, they found 40 percent of girls and 25 percent of boys had experience of online harassment or cyberbullying. Disrupted sleep was reported by 40 percent of girls compared with 28 percent of boys. Anxiety and poor sleep are both linked to depression.

Girls were also more affected when it came to social media use and concerns about body image, self-esteem and appearance, the researchers found, but here the gap with boys was smaller.

Yvonne Kelly, a professor at University College London’s Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care who co-led the research, urged parents and policymakers to note its results.

“These findings are highly relevant to current policy development on guidelines for the safe use of social media and calls on industry to more tightly regulate hours of social media use for young people,” she said in a statement.

She said families may also “want to reflect on when and where it’s ok to be on social media” and consider restrictions on teenagers having mobile devices in their bedrooms.

The study, funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), was published online in the journal EClinicalMedicine on Friday.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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Alleged plotters refute Malacañang’s oust Duterte matrix

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo presented the new matrix of alleged conspiracy between the Liberal Party, the Magdalo group and other organizations seeking to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition groups and individuals who were accused as plotters to oust President Rodrigo Duterte have denied the latest allegation floated by Malacañang several days before the May 13 midterm elections.

Citing supposed intelligence information, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday presented a new diagram showing the purported conspiracy between the Liberal Party (LP), Magdalo group and other organizations and individuals to “discredit the administration and to boost the candidacy of the opposition.”

READ: Palace shows new diagram on Magdalo, Liberal party ‘conspiracy’ to oust Duterte

“This is the nth time that the administration, when confronted with controversy, falsely accuses the LP of being involved in ouster plots. Gawa-gawa lang yan (that’s just fabricated),” said LP president Sen. Francis Pangilinan in a message to reporters.

“Ang hindi gawa-gawa na dapat nilang ipaliwanag ay bakit walang nahuhuli na mga drug lord o pinaparusahan na opisyal ng Customs sa paulit-ulit na pagpuslit ng toneladang shabu sa BoC,” he added. 

Edwin Lacierda, a spokesman of former President Benigno Aquino III, also dismissed as fabricated a matrix released by Malacañang.

Lacierda said, “a Grade School Matrix does not an evidence make.”

“This government seemed to have discovered a new technology called The Grade School Matrix as this is the third time this government employed a matrix to refute charges against them,” he said in a message.

He believes his name could have been linked to the alleged ouster plot because he is an “active liker” of Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary Alejano, a senatorial candidate of opposition slate ‘Otso Diretso’.

“If that is true, this government has all abandoned its sanity. it is also curious to note that Sec Panelo has distanced himself from the Grade School Matrix,” Lacierda said.

“I have no involvement whatsoever with the Bikoy video,” he added, referring to the “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series shared online.

VERA Files president Ellen Tordesillas also denied any involvement, calling Malacañang’s matrix an ‘imagined’ destabilization effort.

“I deny allegations by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo linking me to any imagined destabilization efforts against the administration,” she said.

“I challenge him to present evidence, not just silly diagrams,” she added.

Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes, a vocal critic of Duterte, listed the issues against the President as he refuted claims that the Magdalo group was discrediting the administration.

“Si Duterte ang nagpapatay ng libu-libong Pilipino; may bilyun-bilyon pisong tagong yaman; gumigiba sa mga democratic institutions; minumura ang Diyos; at nag iimbento ng mga akusasyon sa mga kritiko niya; tapos kami ang nagdi-discredit?” Trillanes said in a statement.

“May pa matrix-matrix ka pa na nalalaman, umayos ka nga Mr. Panelo,” he added. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Depressed? Call 989-USAP

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines – The National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) has tasked counselors to man a hotline for cases of depression and other mental health problems in the country.

The agency on Thursday (May 2) launched the NCMH Crisis Hotline numbers, 0917-899-USAP and 989-USAP for Filipinos needing mental health crisis intervention and counseling services.

NCMH chief, Allan Troy Baquir said, “The hotline aims to reach out to those who do not have the immediate means to seek advice and serves as an avenue to offer hope and care for those who have mental health issues.”

Hotline counsellors have been assigned to attend to calls on depression, psychiatric emergencies, suicidal thoughts, grief and loss, relationship issues, sexual abuse, and domestic violence among other issues.

Those who are assessed with high risk will be immediately provided with intervention, Baquir said.

The World Health Organization reports that around 800,000 people die annually due to suicide. – Marje Pelayo

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Robredo pushes for social media regulation vs disinformation

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2019

Vice President Leni Robredo | Courtesy : OVP

Vice President Leni Robredo is calling on Congress to pass a law to strictly regulate the use of social media in the Philippines.

During an interview with reporters in Dagupan City, Pangasinan on Wednesday, Robredo stressed the need to regulate the social media, which she said is “being abused in a very negative way” and has become a tool to spread disinformation especially during election season.

She said Congress should take action to somehow control and regulate posts on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube.

“Kasi kung anybody can post anonymously, ang daming nabibiktimang hindi naman dini-deserve na siraan,” she added.

Robredo said election campaigning in the country have been marred by dirty tactics through online platforms. She added that this is unfair to the people who must know the truth but also rely on social media for information.

The Vice President said she and her family have been victims of vicious attacks and fake news by propagandists on social media.

“Sometimes you can’t blame them because they think it’s true. But what is being fed to them is propaganda,” she added.

She believes the social media should also be “made accountable the way traditional media are accountable” to promote responsibility among its users.

Robredo also lamented the lack of teeth in the country’s election laws to level the political playing field.

“Halimbawa, iyong mga violators, hindi naman nakakasuhan, hindi name-make accountable, kasi wala masyadong ngipin iyong batas kaya kailangan talaga i-amend ‘yung ating election laws,: she added.

“So if we do nothing, the situation will worsen,” Robredo said, adding that it takes time to undo the damage caused by anonymous social media posts. — Robie de Guzman

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