A Safer Internet

The Internet can be a great place for education, creativity and entertainment.

Young people find social media an important part of everyone life.

In a recent survey carried out for CBBC, Newsround it suggests that more than three quarters of children aged 10 to 12 in the UK have social media accounts, even though they are below the age limit. One in five young people have faced online bullying, and four out of five young people have seen ‘online have’, such as offensive or threatening language.

Another worrying statistic that came out of recent surveys is that thirty seven per cent of 10 – 12 years old with a social media account say they have made friends online with someone they’ve not met in person.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is launching the ‘Creating a Better Internet for All report’ after carrying out research with 1,512 young people aged 3 – 18 years, exploring young people’s attitudes, experiences and responses to positive and negative of being online.

  • 94 per cent of young people believe that no one should be targeted with online hate, however
  • 82 per cent have seen or heard something hateful about certain groups on the Internet.
  • 35 per cent of young people said that online hate is something they worry about, whilst
  • 74 per cent said that online hate makes them more careful about what they share online.

We need to empower young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence to ensure they are equipped to deal with online hate.  It is important that young people keep themselves safe online, here is some advice for young people to make the internet a place for kindness and respect.

  • Think about what you are posting, would you say or do this to someone face to face?
  • Be careful of what information you share, if you wouldn’t want to share this will your Grandparent or your Teacher, don’t share it online.
  • Be careful what you chat about, don’t share personal information like your phone number, your address and where you go to school.
  • Keep your private stuff private, use the privacy settings which enable you to choose what information you share.
  • If you are put under pressure its ok to say NO, stop what you are doing and tell a safe, trusted adult, you won’t get into trouble and they will be able to help you.
  • If everyone reports online hate when they see it maybe it can be stopped.


In the news… Self-harm fears over parental surveillance of children’s ‘digital life’

Parents who are worried about their children being bullied or self-harming should not operate “surveillance” on their use of mobile phones and the internet, according to new guidance from psychiatrists.

The advice from the Royal College of Psychiatrists on self-harm says parents and health professionals need to take account of an “explosion in digital communication” – especially social media platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter.

Health workers are urged to undertake “an assessment of a young person’s digital life” to find out how and when they use social media, phones and the internet, when there are concerns about a child’s mental health and a risk of self-harm.

But the guidance says that parents should not snoop on their children’s use of mobile phone or the internet, as this could make things worse, by leaving children feeling they are not trusted.

It also suggests that parents should be positive about the benefits of the online world – or risk young people clamming up and not telling them when they encounter bullying or disturbing images.

Latest figures show more than 22,000 incidents a year in which children and teenagers were treated in hospital for self-harming, with a 30 per cent rise in cases among 10 to 14 year olds in one year. Experts warned that cyberbullying on social networking websites is creating “toxic childhoods” for many children and young people, leaving some feeling they have no escape from pressures on them.

The new guidance for health professionals updates recommendations from 1998, about how to help those at risk of self-harm.

The advice about digital technology is the most significant change in the recommendations.

The report says: “Digital technology, particularly social media platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, is now a central part of young people’s lives, for information, entertainment and communication.”

The advice states: “It is important for parents to be interested and engaged in their children’s digital lives as early as possible.

“Recognising the benefits of the online world will often help a young person feel more comfortable when talking about difficult online experiences such as bullying or feeling uncomfortable about something they have seen or have been involved with.

“Given the rapidly evolving nature of the online and digital world, trust and communication are likely to be more helpful to the young person than attempts at surveillance, especially given young people’s use of mobile devices.”

Dr Andrew Hill-Smith, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist and a member of the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Royal College of Psychiatrists, said all parents should talk to their children about their use of digital media, but should try to avoid snooping.

He said: “When kids are small you can see what they are doing to, but as they get older social media becomes much less visible and much more private. Obviously there has been an explosion in the use of this, and it’s really important that parents try to engage with it and understand as much as they can.”

Snooping on children behind their back was likely to prove counter-productive, he said.

“If you get into surveillance mode, you are creating more tensions and stresses,” he said. “It is better to try and have the conversations and untangle what is going on than to get into autocratic mode,” he said.

Psychiatrists also urged parents to keep an eye on the video games being played by children, with young children often playing violent games which were aimed at much older ages.

Studies suggest that one in 12 teenagers has self-harmed.

Last year, official NHS guidance warned that thousands of children as young as five were suffering from depression, with 8,000 cases among the under 10s.

“Suicide remains the second most common cause of death among young people. Self-harm is an important signal of distress so it needs sensitive responses with careful handling,” Dr Hill-Smith said.

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Date: 7th October 2014

Places still available on our upcoming Cyber-Bullying Training (Tuesday 29th April 2014)

There are still some places left on our upcoming self harm training which focuses on cyber-bullying. More information about this course and how to book can be found below…

Cyber-Bullying: The Challenge Facing the Next Generation – How can we preserve the emotional well being and mental health of our future? Tuesday 29th April 2014 

What this workshop provides?

It is now estimated that over a billion people use Facebook across the globe with other social media sites such as Twitter and You Tube (and many more) now playing a major part in most of our everyday lives. Although some will argue that social media is a positive phenomenon, this workshop will highlight the challenges that face our young people who now have instant access to an increasing number of social sites.

Our training aims to raise awareness and understanding of the issues facing the next generation. It will explore cyber-bullying from the perspective of a young person and the potentially dangerous consequences that social media can have on those who access it. The growing use of apps and smart phones now means most young people have instant access to the internet and social sites 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Do we really know what our children are accessing online and the potential risks involved?

Learning outcomes:

·         We will look at a number of popular social media sites and how they work and the potential risks involved

·         Explore dangers such as online bullying and the links to suicide and self harm

·         Discussion on the importance placed by young people on online ‘life’

·         Highlight the dangers of anonymity

·         There will also be some opportunity to explore other issues around cyber-bullying and ask questions

Price: £60.00 per person

Venue:  Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service

7 Mansfield Road



Click here for Map

Time: 9.30am – 1.00pm

Refreshments: Tea and Coffee provided

To book a place on this course, please click here or alternatively you can email training@harmless.org.uk or phone 01159 348 445.

Our Self Harm Organisation Supports Safer Internet Day

Today is Safer Internet Day and this year’s theme is ‘Let’s create a better internet together’ focussing on creating a safer online world for children and young people.

Safer Internet Day is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre in February of each year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.

It is now estimated that over a billion people use Facebook across the globe with other social media sites such as Twitter and You Tube (and many more) now playing a major part in most of our everyday lives.

Harmless believes that when it comes to social networking, we worry about limiting freedom of speech but when it comes to self harm and suicide we know that the internet is a risk factor and that our young people are at times exposed to harmful web content. Therefore, action needs to be taken to create a safer online experience for children and young people.

If you’d like to know more about self harm and the internet then join us at our workshop:

Cyber-Bullying: The Challenge Facing the Next Generation: How can we preserve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of our future?

Thursday 13th March: 9:30am-1pm

The training aims to raise awareness and understanding of the issues facing the next generation. It will explore cyber-bullying from the perspective of a young person and the potentially dangerous consequences that social media can have on those who access it, their mental health and emotional well-being.

For more information and to book a place on the workshop, please visit our online store by clicking here. Or email training@harmless.org.uk.